Here's a test:

I'll keep a webcam recording myself during work for the next hour, now.

I will try to remind myself not to touch my face and will keep a tally sheet of how many times I successfully restrained myself, and often I caught myself touching it.

Then I'll review the video material and see how many times I've not even witnessed touching my own face during that hour.

[Just typing this post, I've already touched my own face 7 times]

Ok, this is pretty hilarious. I honestly tried and thought I'd be a lot better at it.

Restraining yourself from touching your own face is incredibly hard. Forcing myself not to gave me an incredible itchy feeling that drove me crazy and pretty much kept me from getting any real work done.

I haven't reviewed the video yet, but during that hour I've caught myself touching my own face 35 times, and only managed to prevent it 5 times.

@fribbledom The thing is: touching it at work (or at home) doesn't really matter if you washed your hands. It might matter in public transport though, especially if your hand just held on to a handhold.

@fribbledom the only bright spot about of all of this for me is the general awareness in other people of how often they touch their faces.

Being coeliac, I learnt to wash my hands frequently and be hypervigilant about contaminated surfaces. I was told I was paranoid, and I should just not touch my lips/mouth, and then by association, my face/hair and then my lips/mouth.

Yeah, real easy, isn't it.

@fribbledom Every time you mention not touching your face, I start to itch just below my eye.

@fribbledom remembered I touched my face once while reading the thread, that was about 60 seconds.

@fribbledom Dang. I think I should do the same thing...

@fribbledom I have this neurosis where I touch my face constantly during social interaction, when I was medicated for ADD it went away but returned after I stopped the medication.

@fribbledom As anybody who has been through basic training can tell you once you’re in any way constrained from touching your face you get that itchy feeling, yes.

@fribbledom oh can imagine. And not really a surprise after all.
Guess what? Due to "climate f***up some of my allergies already kicked in. Can imagine I can at least double your face-grabbings/h😐


I haven't been filming myself but I can tell you I'm doing badly at it. It is an extremely difficult habit to kick.

Good luck to all of us

@fribbledom Next epidemic the advice is going to be "Don't think of an elephant"

@fribbledom I once did a time-lapse of myself watching a film on my laptop (I was bored and had just installed a time lapse app on the phone).
I was amazed how often I scratched my eyebrow or picked my nose.

@fribbledom I work in a bookstore. Yesterday my coworker offered me a pair of disposable gloves. I hesitated, then put them on. At some point he mentioned that his main reason for wearing them is to keep him from touching his face. It worked for that for me too. I'd have touched my face way more without gloves on.

@fribbledom I think all socially capable animals have this instinct/compulsions. I think it stimulates social grooming instincts.

@fribbledom You should set something up that detects when you touch your face and administers and electrical shock (or some other unpleasant thing). A low-tech alternative is to use chilli-infused hand lotion.

I used to work in a lab and had to wear nitrile gloves, I never realised how often I touched my face until I put them on. I always seemed to need to scratch my nose as soon as they went on but It was easy to avoid touching my face when I was wearing them. I learned to scratch my nose with the end of a pen - not the part of the pen I was holding with the glove I should add.

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