Each time I use a restaurant bathroom I see a different version of this sign: “Please Wash Your Hands After You Go To The Bathroom.”
Here’s something I don’t understand: why should you wait to wash your hands until after you go to the bathroom?
Pardon me for getting personal here, but if you shower in the morning and put on clean underwear, everything “down there” is clean. On the other hand, before you went into the bathroom you probably shook hands, touched money, opened doors, or threw something in the trash. Chances are it’s your hands that aren’t so clean.
Maybe you should wash your hands BEFORE you use the toilet.
Here’s something else I don’t understand. – what is it that actually kills the germs that could be on your hands in the first place?
Do the germs drown under running water? Are they burned to death by hot water? Are they chilled to death by cold water? Are they crushed to death when you rub your hands together? Or are they poisoned by the soap?
Maybe germs are mauled by the rough paper towels. Or perhaps the germs are blown off your hands by electric hand driers.
Unfortunately, the questions don’t end there because here’s one more thing that doesn’t make sense: lots of soap is sold specifically as “anti-microbial.” But according to the CDC, antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing disease-causing germs than regular soap and water.
And it’s even odder because there are at least two advantages to washing your hands with plain soap.
First, common hand soap tends to be less expensive than antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer.
Second, regular soap won’t kill the healthy bacteria on your skin that helps keep you healthy in the first place.
So many questions, so little time. And about something as simple as washing our hands.
If that’s so bewildering, how about the things that are confusing in the first place? No, I’m not talking about learning Greek or understanding tax code. Instead, let’s talk about social media.
Sure, it’s easy to use social media to post pictures of Friday’s pub crawl or whatever adorable thing your sister’s kid did the other night. But how about understanding how to reach your consumers and get them to purchase your goods or services? How about understanding the power behind Facebook Pixels or Facebook’s Ad Manager Account? How about discerning the difference between Messenger Ads and Messenger Bots?
All of a sudden, something that was as innocuous as uploading pictures of your cat shredding toilet paper stops making sense, doesn’t it?
Don’t think you’re alone. When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by congress, these are some of the obviously clueless questions our legislators asked him (don’t worry, my rant is entirely non-partisan).
One senator asked: “I’m communicating with my friends on Facebook and indicate that I love a certain kind of chocolate. All of a sudden, I start receiving advertisements for chocolate. What if I don’t want to receive those commercial advertisements?”
Another senator asked the founder of one of the most profitable companies in history, “So, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?”
And one senator even asked, ““What was Facemash, and is it still up and running?”
“…There was a movie about (that),” Zuckerberg answered, referring to the movie The Social Network, not even Facebook itself.
Sure, the senators’ answers were both awkward and funny at the same time. But these are the very people charged with legislating our social media environment and protecting us from perils that we don’t understand.
If we can’t even figure out how and when to properly wash our hands – and if we need to be reminded to wash them every time we go to the bathroom, how in the hell can we expect to embrace and properly benefit from this brave new world we’re all hurrying into at a faster and faster pace? Worse, how are we going to compete with companies who are spending the time, money, and brainpower it takes to embrace and exploit this new reality?
Your local university or community college has extension classes designed to bring you up-to-date on the technologies that are taking over our world and your business. And whether you call the courses “adult education,” “continuous education” or the euphemistic “lifelong learning,” it’s time you signed up for one of them before it’s too late.