My ‘Dirty’ Phone


Last week I was listening to a popular FM radio channel where the RJ, posing as a mobile phone repair technician, made a prank call to a person and subtly threatened him that his phone had a lot of ‘undesirable data’ which could land up in his wife’s hand. “Aapka bahut dirty phone hai Sir, kya iski bhi safai kar doon. Yaa phir ghar pe deliver karwa doon” (Sir, your phone is very dirty. Shall I clean it? Or shall I just deliver it to your home). All hell broke loose as the man panicked and went abusive. And like me, I am sure all listeners must have died laughing.

The dirty phone that I am writing about here is actually a dirty phone, full of filth and germs, that we use everyday. According to a paper by Dr Simon Park in a UK university, an average phone contains 18 times more bacteria than a  public toilet. Yuk. Do you realize that our cheeks, and ear, and sometimes even our lips touch our phone every six minutes and about a 150 times a day. Yuk yuk.

If this report is correct, the matter is indeed alarming. I have never come across any warning that ‘your phone can get 18 times more bacteria than a  public toilet over time’ or any tutorial on how to clean a phone. In the various mini booklets and leaflets that come along with the new phone, there is lots of information on setting it up, protecting it’s battery, et al, but nothing on how to clean it. Do we have any add on device to keep it free from germs, or any technology that repels them. I am sure this needs more study, and there is possible scope for entrepreneurs to find medical as well as technological solutions.

Apparently, there is some anti microbial natural solution, that Apple is trying out with its iPhone 6, which can reduce these germs by almost 99%. But how many people can afford an iPhone 6 ? In the meanwhile, I have decided to start wash my hands every time I finish talking on my phone. Don’t ask me how practical is this.

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