Unwanted friends on your phone

Naris Barseghian

(February 9, 2012) — Senior Martin Zakarian refuses to share his phone or any of his belongings unless he is sure that a person has washed their hands.“If anyone—even my sister or best friend—doesn’t wash their hands then I won’t share it,” Zakarian said. Many cellphone owners did not know that their own phone can be contaminated by bacteria that can be very harmful. Recent research was done to see how many people actually wash their hands and stay sanitary after using the restroom. The results showed some unwanted friends appearing on cellphones. According to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary at the University of London, 82% of people do not wash their hands after using the restroom, even though 95% said they had washed their hands using soap and water. Of the cellphones belonging to these people, 16% are contaminated with E. coli bacteria. E. coli is an illness causing one that has gotten attention for “striking the food supply,” according to the Oregon Public Health Authority. One in six cellphones has this bacteria on it, likely due to the fact that people do not wash their hands enough, or at all. This research showed not only that cellphones have more bacteria than expected, but also how many people lie about their hygiene habits. After being told since early childhood to wash their hands religiously, will people still walk out of the restroom without washing their hands? Junior Nick Baygan disagrees with Zakarians’ idea of sharing his cellphone even when he is not certain whether they washed their hands or not. “I’d share my phone because if someone needed to use a phone, the situation would probably be dire, and after all, I can just clean it afterwards,” said Baygan. However, he also says that it does bother him that people do not wash their hands, and he does feel disgusted. “I think making people even more sanitary is impossible. I’d carry around hand sanitizer or something. I’d still not get any germs or such due to cleaning my phone,” Baygan said. Meanwhile, junior Rouzanna Arzoumanian also feels disgusted after learning of these facts about the germs spreading on cellphones. “I’m going to clean my phone more often and I’m kind of worried about using other people’s phones,” Arzoumanian said. To stop people from spreading this bacteria even more, Zakarian says he will remind people to wash their hands before using his phone or when they come out of the restroom. “I would feel indifferent because I didn’t know there was bacteria,” Zakarian said.