Sharing Earphones Is a Nasty Proposition

Illustration for article titled Sharing Earphones Is a Nasty Proposition

Remember that time Steve Jobs, countering Zune sharing, offered that the only way to share music was to intimately place one of your earbuds into another's ear? Well that's a bad idea, bacteria-wise.

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According to a recent study by India's Manipal University, users who shared earbuds were found to house harmful bacteria in their ears in 93% of test swabs. Meanwhile, those (prudes) who didn't share earbuds were found to house harmful bacteria in their ears just 8% of the time.

Of course, there could be some other correlations going on that artificially skew the data. Like those who shared earphones were also more likely to share their ears with tongues, piercings and romantic earwax candles. Wait...maybe this sharing earbuds lifestyle isn't so bad after all. [Daily Express]

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DISCUSSION

The thing I find most bothersome about this study is that all they did was swab and culture. As I read it here, it didn't come into play whether there was anything wrong with the ears of these people to begin with. I have never EVER had my doctor swab and culture my ears. Truth is that your skin, all over your body, is teeming with bacteria and fungal spores. Yes, some of those are associated with health problems, but your own constitution (unless you live in a bubble) is able to defend against them. This is more alarmist claptrap designed to bolster the misguided hypochondriacs that believe that every germ is bad and every germ is dangerous — you know who they are, they scowl at you whenever you touch anything and they run around with a bottle of purel in a repurposed cellpphone holder, smearing it all over their hands whenever they so much as pick up a pencil or press an elevator button. Morons. It's soap and warm water, folks, as you recite your ABCs and -=rub=- your hands together under the water, getting in-between the fingers and putting the soap up to your wrists. Then, -=wipe=- your hands dry with the towel. That's all you need.