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 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.

@sng @fribbledom So instead the instruction should be ”don't keep your hands behind your back all the time!”

That way people would do anything to keep their hands far away from their face.

@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


The itch is not necessarily a problem, if you feel the need to scratch you can wash your hands (with soap if you have it or alcoholic gel otherwise) and then scratch. It is, as you point, the involuntary touching that are dificult to eliminate.


Looking forward to interrupting my workflow about 50 times a day for my handwash/scratch routine 😂

@fribbledom @LienRag That sounds like a permanent habit. Such habits can be very hard to change/remove. I have had such Training during martial arts. Ignoring stuff only works for me after about 3-5 tries. A good trick is to focus on something else. Like Breathing in specific pattern or some other pattern related thing that is complicated and absorbs focus. Work can be the focus point but that leads to other side effects. I know, I nerd out over such Psychological stuff. So interesting :)

@fribbledom make a wrist device motion sensor that alarms when raised above x level.

It must be called the facial trainer though.

@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.

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