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KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Cell phones provide breeding ground for bacteria

In+the+United+States%2C+an+estimated+95%25+of+teenagers+own+or+have+access+to+a+smartphone+and+with+an+average+of+seven+to+eight+hours+of+screen+time+a+day.
Maya Ortiz
In the United States, an estimated 95% of teenagers own or have access to a smartphone and with an average of seven to eight hours of screen time a day.

One of a teenager’s most important possessions is their phone. A device primarily designed for communication transformed into a multifaceted tool that has profoundly impacted our lives. To some teenagers their phone represents more than just a device, it’s become an integral part of their identity – an extension of themselves and a means to form connections. 

In the United States, an estimated 95% of teenagers own or have access to a smartphone and with an average of seven to eight hours of screen time a day. It’s unsurprising that we can be a little too engrossed. Nowadays our phones hold more sentimental meaning than most things we own, but as awesome as that is, they are also breeding grounds for bacteria. 

According to scientists at the University of Arizona, our phones are 10 times dirtier than most toilet seats. Hard reality, our phones harbor infectious bacteria including staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, enterococcus faecalis, MRSA, influenza virus, and E.coli, a type of coliform present in human feces. Think back to when you’ve had a snack scrolling on your phone and now imagine licking your toilet seat. How unsavory is that? With the microbial transfer taking place during moments like that, I beg to ask what life would be like if we had microscopic eyes.

Purportedly, our phones contribute to so many health-related issues that we encounter, some of which are the results of the germs they accumulate. I’m not saying you should be obsessed about the existence of germs in common places. The truth is, we can’t eradicate all the germs existing in the world if we try, but that doesn’t call for nonchalance. 

Being cleanliness-conscious is a trait to cultivate especially when handling things we frequently use. Phones are something very important yet the least cared for, and that has to change. For your sake and the sake of your health, avoid dropping phones in public areas, most especially the restroom. Do not use your phone screens as saucers for food and/or snacks, stay off your phone when you eat, particularly with your bare hands, and if possible, make less use of your dominant hand while whittling away time. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after using your device and endeavor to wipe your phone screen at least once a day with an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Thanks to our phones, the world is at our fingertips but so is an entire ecosystem of microbes and germs that do not benefit us. As teenagers and as human beings, practicing good hygiene habits could save us a ton of money in the hospital and this is not only when it comes to our phones but in general. With this new knowledge, you could make a big difference health-wise. 

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