Technology has provided our generation with many different gadgets and toys to play with. Smartphones, tablets, computers and console games are common items for just about every home. However, our gadgets could potentially be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Most technology users, myself included, rarely clean our gadgets unless they are visibly dirty and cleaning rarely means disinfection!
Susan Baxter's article on TopTenReviews.com, “Terrifying Germs that Live on your Smartphone,” notes, “94.5 percent of the phones were contaminated with some kind of bacteria, many of which were resistant to multiple antibiotics.” That is a truly frightening statistic! Our cellphone comes with us everywhere and, when we are out in the world, shaking other people's hands, exchanging money at the grocery store, eating at restaurants, occasionally when some people are in the bathroom and using their phone to make calls and text (you know it happens a lot). It certainly interacts with just as much, if not more things than our hands! Unless the surface of our cellphones are visibly dirty we rarely clean it, but bacteria could be on the surface of the phone long before we ever think to clean it.
Many play console games solo, but we also enjoy playing with a few friends during regular ‘game nights’ with pizza, fast food or snacks. If there are more people than controllers then the controllers are typically passed from person to person in between munching on a tasty pizza while we play. Our hands are touching controllers, food, and most importantly our faces. However, how many console users clean the controller when it is passed to them? Do you wait to clean a controller when it is pretty visibly dirty? (Let’s be honest, it will often be dirty for quite a long time). This means that all the dirt, grease, and potentially harmful bacteria residing on the controllers is likely being spread to all of us when we play!
In fact, 45.6 percent of console users have other people playing games on their consoles according to an infographic called “The Importance of Keeping your Gadgets Clean” on robsightford.com. 67.1 percent of console users would only clean their controllers if they were visibly dirty.
Another notoriously bad spot for bacteria to build up is computer keyboard. People use their laptops nearly as often as they do their cell phones, and offices are riskier spot for germs. This is pretty common in workplaces. We have our own desk, but others are not barred from sitting there when we are away. We do not know who used our desk or why in most cases and we definitely do not know where that person's hands had been before they used it! AF better health remarks on their home pages that, “The average office keyboard harbors more germs than the average toilet seat." That is some scary stuff.
Parents teach their children to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before sitting down to a meal and employers post signs demanding their employees do the same before returning to work. However, most people simply do not realize the potential for their technological gadgets to spread the same bacteria and viruses that occur from bad hygiene. We should be leaving the house with our wallets, our keys, our phone, AND a pack of disinfecting wipes!