I'm always a little grossed out when I see someone walk out of the bathroom with a cellphone in hand -- either checking messages or already mid-conversation.
Don't ask when -- or where -- that conversation started... you probably don't want to know.
The thought alone is enough to make you sick, but the latest research shows how it could make you literally ill: Cellphones are crawling with germs, including the nasty bacteria that live in poop.
I don't know about you, but that's enough to make me think twice about borrowing someone else's cellphone.
British researchers collected 390 samples from cellphones and hands in 12 U.K. cities and found bacteria on 92 percent of phones and 82 percent of hands.
Now, you know there are different types of bacteria out there. Some of them are bound to be crawling on you at any given time, and most of them are pretty harmless.
But 16 percent of hands and cellphones had the E. coli bacteria found in feces -- even though 95 percent claimed to have washed their hands.
The researchers say they didn't ask if people used their phones on the toilet -- but point out that since people use their phones pretty much everywhere else, it's not out of the question that people are conducting business while doing their business.
And that means you could transfer germs to the phone while on the toilet, wash your hands and then get germy all over again when you pick up the phone -- because phones don't get washed.
Not if you want to be able to use the phone, anyway.
You're not supposed to use liquids of any kind on the newest phones, and the alcohol that can kill bugs is a definite no-no on those shiny smartphone screens.
That means the best defense is prevention: Don't touch your phone when you're in the bathroom. Write on the walls instead.
Then, wash you hands before you even think of checking to see who texted you you while you were doing your business.
Finally, don't borrow anyone else's cellphone. And, just to be safe, don't let anyone borrow yours.