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Do smartphone users get sick more often?

A lot of people do have a cold at the moment. Most likely it is because of the chilly temperatures we have been experiencing the last few weeks. Or isn’t it? I have been watching it, while walking around in the streets, going on some bus or train, or even at the dinner table. Everywhere they are present: Smartphones! I myself own such a fine piece of 21st century electronics and do not want to miss it. But what I have been wondering about is: Will people who use their smartphones very intensely become sick more regularly?

What comes to mind in the beginning is the filthy screen. Just grab it out of your pocket or pick it up off the table and take a look at it. I bet you, it is not stainless. So basically what you do is, using it with dirty hands, hopefully wash them at some time, but do you also clean your phone? NO! And directly after sanitizing your hands, you touch it again, getting germs and whatnot directly back on your fingers, which will soon after, believe me, touch your face. Or think about it differently: When walking around, does it happen to you? All around you, people who look slightly down on their screens while crossing roads, doing grocery shopping, or walking their dog. They must bump into other people more frequently than the open-eyed pedestrian. Does that mean they are “attacked” by more germs because of their numerous contacts to each and every sick person than more careful people? Do they get sick more often?

Well, I cannot really answer this question, since I wasn’t able to find any study on this – must be a great View on Life for JUnQ for that matter. I could just find some tricks on how your smartphone can survive cold weather.[1] And some article from Sueddeutsche Zeitung from 2012 where they tell you about developers planning to bring out an app which allows you, after snotting on your phone, to detect which kind of cold you have.[2] I am so looking forward to everybody smearing their sputum on their smartphones! Anyhow, since our civilization hasn’t broken down, yet, I think we’re more or less off the hook. Maybe even the opposite is the case. I mean, your immune system has to be trained and might even develop allergies if not subjected to enough “real” enemies. So, do smartphone users, due to their increased exposure to germs, become more healthy and resistant? I can neither answer this question. Maybe they have more traffic accidents? So many open questions…

Andreas Neidlinger


[1] (last access on 04.03.2015)

[2] (last access on 04.03.2015)