You being on your phone during meals is not only a little rude, it might also be the reason you're sick (especially during this severe flu season)!

Can’t put the phone down during meals? You’re not alone. A study by Nutrisystem found that nearly 30 percent of Americans admit their phone is with them at every meal and 35 percent of those ages to 18 to 25 say they are never without their phones when eating. 50 percent of respondents said they had their phones on the table for most meals. Just 17 percent said they made meals phone-free zones. And it’s not just phones distracting us during mealtime. 72 percent say they typically watch TV while eating. (NY Post)

And while your phone is not only a distraction at the dinner table, it's also chock full of germs! Not only should you wash your hands before you eat, you should make sure you wash and clean your phone on a daily basis!

According to Seattle Times journalist Bobby Caina Calvan, your phone is covered in germs: 25,107 bacteria per square inch, to be precise. This makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day. In fact, when compared to other items that are infamously “dirty,” cell phones take the lead—by far. Last year, Mashable.com put together a little video that compared the number of bacteria covering cell phones to bacteria covering toilet seats, kitchen counters, pet food dishes, checkout screens, and doorknobs. This is what they reported:

  • Toilet seat: 1,201 bacteria per square inch
  • Kitchen counter: 1,736 bacteria per square inch
  • Pet food dish: 2,110 bacteria per square inch
  • Checkout screen: 4,500 bacteria per square inch
  • Doorknob: 8,643 bacteria per square inch

The point: cell phones harbor more than three times the number of germs that dirty doorknobs do. Think about that next time you hold that thing up to your face! Or have it at the dinner table while you're eating! (State Food Safety)