Well, if you ever needed a better excuse not to answer your smartphone, here it is: smartphones can be rife with fecal matter, bacteria and viruses that cause influenza and even worse, the flesh eating bacteria known as MRSA! As much as this is not intended to scare you, it’s still terrifying and you should know the facts as well as how to avoid becoming a germ statistic. The average person uses their smartphone for 58 minutes each day and 26% of this time is spent talking while 20% of this time is spent texting. One also has to wonder about the percentage of time we don’t wash our hands when we should throughout an average day.
Keep in mind that this 58 minutes just represents the average, not necessarily what’s really happening. Our fingers touch the phone to dial, text or surf the web and the oils in our skin spread it around and then soak it back up along with the millions of bacteria that have been lying in wait. It may sound like overkill here, but there is at least one company, New York’s Corning Glass, who is working on developing antibacterial glass for smartphones and tablets that should be released later this year.
This comes as good news when you consider for a minute all the places you take your phone: bathroom, outside the shower, the floor of your car, kitchen, accidentally in the garbage can or even the toilet. This antibacterial glass technology was originally slated for hospital and industrial use, but the switch to the common marketplace makes sense. After all, nearly 82% of all adult Americans own and regularly use cell phones. The last thing we need to worry about is catching a flesh eating bacteria like MRSA just because we had to text someone back.
So before we all go heading to our wireless carrier to cancel our contracts, let’s talk about some common sense preventive measures we can take to help keep our smartphones, tablets and selves clean and germ free:
- Wash your hands often and use an antibacterial soap. The general rule is to wash your hands with very warm water for as long as it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday To You song twice in your head
- Keep your cell phone clean by wiping it down with an effective antibacterial spray like Clear Gear Disinfectant Sports Spray. Simply spray onto a clean cloth, wipe the screen and allow to air dry
- Avoid sharing your smartphone with others and if you must, wipe it down before you use it next
- Avoid eating, drinking or touching someone skin to skin after handling your phone or try to wash your hands before doing so