To those who took their laptops into the toilet in continuance of the ‘great project’ they were on in the 200os.. Cheers to you. Thoughts of the inundating Information Flow humanity now finds itself.. We are ‘fortunate’ as we may reckon for certain reasons to be around as witnesses to the breakneck speed at which Information Technology has taken over most of our time and in many cases, our lives.
The impulse to share with our friends or connections on social media is also of a huge note. Misinformation, false news, propaganda and lies are rife. Our needle is in a huge haystack of information, we have to sieve through looking for what works. Humanity has never been confronted almost free of charge with such huge amount of information now just a finger tip away.
The Twenty First Century was ushered in with so much expectations and of course innovations. The late Nineties showed those with the Computer Know-how we were in for a ride, life beyond Year 2000 was imagined as really techie and the advancement of Science will be accelerated, a ride most didn’t know or had the faintest idea how it will manifest.
Before the PC became a household material, all all people had to read in their quests for knowledge and information was simply put in ‘Black and White’ in order words the word ‘E Copy’ had no meaning.
Humanity was comfortably ensconced in the enduring and timeless Print Media. The multiple centuries old technology of the Print Media gave people the direct access to books, Newspapers, Memos, Journals, filing for history and so much more.
Then, boom!! Computers started trickling into homes in the beginning of the 1990s. These huge Desktops with with such low memories unimaginable to us today were not useful for much then. They were mainly for Documents, Programming, Some early Video Games and many other things the average person of that time called ‘Geeky’. Of course, Computers then were not connected to the Internet.
Explaining what the internet was to people was not an easy task. I remember a Presenter on ABC News trying to explain what the ‘E Mail’ was in 1994, his description was simply showed he didn’t know what he was talking about and he was not alone, many had no idea of the details of how the internet works. We all only knew there is a new way computers can now communicate with one another. I just didn’t know how that was going to work… Triple W what?
I have read quite a bit of books in my life, it became what I really did especially in my post University years where the long wait and search for a ‘job’ starts after your years of ‘school education’. Its a web many in my country, Nigeria are caught in and my case wasn’t different.
Something interesting started in early 2000s, at this time, the internet was beginning to spread like wild fire, Wireless Calls went hyper, we reached the Information Boom! For some,the quest for information never stops, in fact we now want to know it all at once, I remember reading books with some light hanging on my chest in bed at night before computers and smartphones. That now feels like something I did eons ago.
Going to the toilet, an obligation for all at different times. According to Jake Heppner on Distractify.com, the life expectancy in America is 78.6 years, as of 2014.
You spend 1.5 years in the bathroom, (the average person goes in six times a day). You spend a total of 92 days on the toilet (Men spend 4 minutes on the toilet than women daily). You spend 70% of your waking life in front of digital media. Humanity has found ways to occupy this important part of its daily time of what we like to call ‘doing our business’, why not get some education in the process?
For some, its time to smoke some cigarettes or time to really lay strategics and plans the next big deal. It will also not be fully ignored if it is said that some of the big ideas that has shaped humanity came from the toilet.
For many, the toilet was also a place to read, toilets in some houses used to be filled with magazines, journals and books. Reading ‘while doing the business’ became a past time and a habit for many.
Then in the early 2000s, the computer became a huge threat to books. There were debates that the computer will take the place of books and really, many thought it impossible. We started owning Laptop Computers. Wow! Going into the toilet was also going through its evolution.
The first day it occurred to me to go into the toilet with my laptop in the mid 2000s because whatever I was doing was so important, I had a bell ring in my head, ‘this is obviously strange’, but I did it anyway and I did it a few times. It must be added too, its not really a comfortable position, those who did it know what I am talking about. I remember a friend then describing how disgusted she was when she found her husband had a laptop with him in the bathroom doing some important ‘work’ that could not wait from the office, for her, that was just the height of it. ‘What is is that cannot wait’? She asked, befuddled.
We also started witnessing what it turned out to be the slow beginning of hard copy books taking almost the last place in our daily activities, by 2009/10 Everything went super digital and it looks like there’s no going back.
It is now rampant that a good number of people do not even read Hard Copy books anymore. However, it does not mean we are getting dull and lazy, but it is that the computer has all we would have been visiting libraries, Statistics Offices, opening huge dusty encyclopedias and unnecessary physical visits for just about two decades ago rolled up in it. Now a good number of our cumbersome tasks of the days of old are taken for granted. Thanks to the PC.
Then the explosion of Smart Phones and Social Media almost hitting us in tandem changed it all for good, The Laptop Computers now sits where is should be, the desk. The Desk Top Computer is also beginning to resurface from its near one decade hiatus due to the popularity and mobility of the Laptop.
Now that the Smart Phone which has been the most effective form of information, it ‘goes’ into the toilet with us. Its smaller, filled with all you can imagine and its just a good get away to look into something while on the ‘business’. I still see the Newspaper Racks in a few toilets with magazines begging to be touched for years, people now do it all on the phone.
Lets face it, we feel handicapped without our Smart Phones, but using it in the toilet, especially a Public toilet is really an open invitation to a vast number of germs. Our phone is perhaps one of our dirtiest possessions with bacteria all over it. In fact, it is likely to have more germs than on a toilet seat. The Healthsite.com states that ‘several objects that we deem ‘dirty’. In fact, research suggests that on an average, a touch phone has 25’000 germs per square inch. Here are some objects that are cleaner than our p
- Public Toilet
- The soles of shoes
- A pet’s eating bowl
- Kitchen Counters
- Door knobs
- A bundle of notes
What’s more, studies show that 92% phones have bacteria on them with 16% containing E.coli, bacteria found in faeces.
The aim here is not to tell you to stop going into the toilet with your Smart Phone, only looking at some of the ‘ridiculous’ heights we have gone in our world that is fast being taken over by the computer (Our smart phones). Do whatever you want, whenever you want.
Also laughing at how humanity gets unsettled in the sight or feeling of change, but with the advancement of science we just find ourselves going with the flow and not wanting to be left behind. The fact remains that, in the Rat Race of today, a person without the simple knowledge of sending or receiving e-mails may be seen as a computer Neanderthal and honestly, the person cannot really achieve much in many fields in today’s world, it’s still forgivable if one is old, but for a younger person, dealing and reaching out to the ‘Global Community’, it could be a little difficult.
Going into the Restroom with your device may be as minimal as possible. Maybe we can leave it behind while doing the ‘business’.
Always remember the good old rule, wash your hands after every ‘business’, its never changed, be it ‘business’ number one or two.
The best option for cleaning your phone is to wash it in water using some antiseptic soap as often as possible…. Hold on, I am not crazy, we all know the phone that gets washed in water is a dead phone and not the option to take,only if the phone is the water- proof type. Who washes their phone? Never met one.
Therefore, we are left with the option of making sure we wipe our phones often. I’ll suggest a not too dry clean and soft fabric to wipe the surface and the phone as a whole as often as possible, as the ‘phone’ it is now a part of our lives 24/7.
Not calling for Germophobes, only chipping in for people to work more on their hygiene.
Always remember to wash your hands often, surprisingly, this applies not to kids only.
Remember to also wash your hands after digging for gold and rubies in those tunnels under your eyes.
Be mindful of the things you touch and clean the stuff you touch frequently regularly, your phones, the TV Remote Control, Computer key pads and all.
I can tell you, our fingers have never really caressed anything more than our smart phones in today’s world.
Photos by: ARL For Awefirm.com