You Should Probably Stop Scrolling on Your Phone While on the Toilet

It’s for reasons that are as gross as you probably expect

Smartphone on the toilet
Your phone is likely carrying pathogenic bacteria, which means bacteria that causes diseases.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty

We bring our phones everywhere — and many of us spend time scrolling away while going to the bathroom. You might even be reading this while sitting on the toilet right now. And while it may feel like the perfect activity to engage in while going about your business, you actually really, probably, definitely, shouldn’t be doing it. 

The reasons are…pretty gross. According to The Conversation, many studies have proven that our phones can carry many kinds of pathogenic bacteria, which are bacteria that cause disease. The bacteria found can cause skin infections, tuberculosis, diphtheria, urinary tract infections and meningitis, among others. Research also found the bacteria E. coli, which can induce diarrhea and comes straight from human feces. 

Research also showed that bacteria are antibiotic resistant, so the pathogens can’t be treated with “conventional drugs.” It even suggested that wiping your phone with an antibacterial wipe may not be enough — to be effective, it must become a regular process. 

Yes, Hotel Bathtubs Are as Gross as Everyone Says
TikTok users are coming for the cesspools that are hotel tubs. It’s about time.

Consider how many times you touch your phone in a day to do other things: Maybe you scroll through Instagram while snacking, or put your phone down on a bed while folding clean laundry (with the hands you just used to send a text in your group chat). And if you give your children your phone to play with, it opens the door to even more exposure and potential illness. 

So be hygienic and maybe consider swapping your phone out for something else if you need something to hold while on the toilet. An article from HuffPost, citing the same article, lists 10 efficient ways to practice good phone hygiene. I recommend it.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!