To Blow, or Not To Blow?

  1. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    OK y'all, getcher minds out of the gutter!

    I made an observation recently and I'd like to know if it's an anomaly. It's about nose blowing. I see only older people blow their noses in public. I wonder if this is a true generational difference.

    So I want to know: Has anyone else noticed this? And, do you blow your nose in public, and roughly how old are you?

    Me - late 40s, and if I can at all avoid it, I do not blow my nose in public. For one, I think it's icky, and for two, since I'll need to wash my hands afterward anyway I figure it's best to go to the washroom.

    I think it's especially unpleasant when people do it in restaurants :yuck:.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
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    I'm not sure. I'm not in my 40s because I'm doing iterations of 39, but I too do not blow my nose in public and instead head to the restroom too. My mother blows her nose anywhere and sounds like a foghorn when she does it, so I think my own choice is based on the utter mortification of being in her presence growing up. She also used to hold onto dirty tissues and reuse them, and left them under her pillow at night (disgusting when it was my turn to change beds and do laundry). I'm not a super germ-phobe (I don't avoid touching doorknobs and such) but also don't choose to expose myself to germs I can avoid, and try to avoid spreading mine when I can, such as washing my hands after blowing my nose.
     
  4. dlgoff

    dlgoff 3,069
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    What if you are eating something really spicy, as in Ghost hot, in a restaurant? The question is, to blow or drip profusely?
     
  5. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
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    I just dab.

    I also don't cough or sneeze into a tissue (never seem to have one handy when I sneeze) or my hand (then touch everything with my snot?), but into my elbow. It's enough to stop from spreading the droplets to everyone, but not sharing germs when I shake hands or grab doors, etc. But that's a habit from working in labs with gloves on and things potentially on the gloves that I don't want on my face.
     
  6. Danger

    Danger 9,879
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    I live in ranching country, so it's a bit more prevalent here than in an urban setting. Personally, I can't blow my nose, and wouldn't anyway because it seems gross. If I try, it clogs up my ears, and if I try even harder, my nose bleeds. I figure that there's a malformation in my sinuses, but I've never had it checked. (My nasal passages are incredibly narrow, if that means anything.)

    edit: Forgot the age thing. I'll be 56 next month.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  7. I'm 30, and on the odd occasion that I blow my nose in public I try to be discreet. If a restroom is around I'll use it. I hate hearing it in class, in a cafe, etc

    Put me on a bike trail, and I just block one nostril and blow the other while I'm riding. :P
     
  8. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    There is a third option - go to the restroom to blow :smile:. Unless you're afraid that your dining companion will steal your Ghost when you leave the table.
     
  9. Deveno

    Deveno 906
    Science Advisor

    i'm embarrassed to tell you what happens with me....rather than blow, i inhale sharply, pulling the phlem inwards...so my problem is:

    "to spit, or swallow?"

    i am 50.
     
  10. Danger

    Danger 9,879
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    Given my aforementioned problem, that is my only option as well. I have found a way to avoid embarrassment about it though; I simultaneously fart very loudly to mask the sound.
     
  11. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: Danger, you made me truly lol...
     
  12. I am 22 and I avoid blowing my nose in public, I go straight to the rest room to handle that business. But plenty of my professors are old-school and they blow their nose on some tissue and then reinsert it back into their pockets, I think it is pretty gross. But eh, I usually avoid hand-shaking anyway.
     
  13. Danger

    Danger 9,879
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    You are too easily amused.
    Not only does it serve as a distraction, but it also equalizes pressure to compensate for the snort.
     
  14. Huh, I have never met people before who thought blowing your nose in public is disgusting. Seems to be a new development. What countries are you guys from?

    Why do you need to wash your hands afterwards??? Are we talking about the same thing here? You know, the thing you do with a handkerchief?

    EDIT: I must say I do think using linnen (or whatever the correct adjective is) handkerchiefs is disgusting, cause you use it multiple times, carrying it in your pocket waiting for it to dry out. I always use paper tissues that I then throw away. But anyway all my friends and even parents think that it quite weird of me and call me somewhat mysophobic for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  15. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
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    You wash your hands to avoid spreading things like cold viruses. A thin tissue isn't enough to really stop germs.

    We have at least the US and Canada represented in this thread. I don't know where everyone who posted is from, though.
     
  16. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,128
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    Otherwise known as 39.95 plus shipping and handling. :biggrin:
     
  17. Well having to blow your nose doesn't mean you're sick, of course, but I get your point that when it's because you're sick, one should be more careful. But anyway, I can say that in Belgium I know of no one who would wash their hands after using a handkerchief, not even I do it and I consider myself to be the most hygienic person I know. This is not an argument in itself, just a description of the situation; I suppose it's a custom. But is it a custom that depends on countries? Is it custom in the US and Canada to wash your hands afterwards? And has it "always" been, or is it very recent?

    And I wonder, do the people who think blowing your nose in public is disgusting use linnen handkerchiefs? Or do they use throw-away paper ones?
     
  18. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,128
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    Just because you're not actually exhibiting overt illness symptoms does not mean you're not spreading germs.

    I don't always have the opportunity but I would wash if I could.

    And not just my hands. Those of us gifted with luxuriant facial plots of vegetation have an extra bit of washing up after hucking an oyster out our schnozzes.

    Many people I know consider handkerchiefs to be gross as well as antiquated. Throw away tissues are highly preferred over a pocketful of mucus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  19. I was simply talking about having to blow your nose when it is cold, for example.

    I gladly agree, sadly "over here" I'm looked at as pretty odd for holding such a position. I had become convinced that indeed I was perhaps a bit too hygienic, but now I see that by your standards I'm not hygienic enough! I admit it's an oddly refreshing find :D
     
  20. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,128
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    I know. But mucus, by its nature, harbours germs (that's part of its job). And the act of blowing both aerosolizes these droplets and coats your hands in them.
     
  21. I figured that is what you ultimately meant, but to worry about that facet of it seems a bit extreme, no? At that point you can wonder if the extra times it requires you to wash your hands cannot have a worse influence than what you're trying to prevent (just as I try to avoid gettings cold, I try to avoid getting dried out hands). I think it's an understandable habit to have, if you have it, but I don't think it's one of those things you can sensibly expect other people to do. Seems a bit much.
     
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