One of the beauties of modern technology is that it enables diversification in reading materials for that frequent trip to the loo. The days of flicking through the same magazine for the 5th time that week have passed. Nowadays we scroll through social media and read articles about other people’s misfortunes, instead. And oh what fun it is. I can say with absolute certainty that there’s at least a good 20% of you out there right now taking a dump while you read this very article, in fact.
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However, those days might be coming to an end if you care about your health. This after one of my greatest fears was confirmed when a news outlet contacted scientists to find out the hygiene implications of Snapchatting while you shit (as well as just generally using your phone on the toilet – but that one in particular got me right in the feels).
The risk arrives in the form of bacteria such as salmonella, E. Coli and C. Difficile. Once you’ve ‘gone about your business’ you’ll inevitably have to do some wiping, and once you’ve done that you’re probably going to pick up your phone and carry it over to the sink. This contact between you and your phone before you’ve washed away any germs makes for a likelihood that you’ll be visiting the toilet again very shortly, although this time it might be coming out both ends.
The shit really hit the fan when the science guys revealed that the problem isn’t even avoided by washing your hands first, as bathroom surfaces generally have a higher germ count than other rooms in the house, so just leaving your phone on the side could be risking infection, too. Dr Ackerley, involved in the feedback, says:
If you wipe your bum then pick up your phone, you may as well not bother washing your hands because all the bacteria you put on your phone will end up back on your hands.
They might be your germs. They might be somebody else’s from the flush.
Sounds like the Doc is pretty much saying taking your phone into the bathroom under any circumstances is a sure fire way to get someone else’s shit on your face. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of shit on my face. So is there anyway to avoid it? Well another Doctor – Ron Cutler, Director of Biomedical science at Queen Mary’s University London – reckons there is and it’s pretty simple:
Phones heat up a little bit giving bacteria a nice warm environment.
Basically, you just shouldn’t (take your phone into the toilet).
Great, well thank you for that Ron. Clearly that PhD was worth the money.
I’ll stick with my toilet porn and accept that diarrhoea is a likely consequence, thank you very much. Then again, is it really worth it? Maybe I’ll ask the guy that got charged after his explosive diarrhoea hit a kid in the face.