To Blow, or Not To Blow?

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  • #1
lisab
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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:.
 
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  • #2
Moonbear
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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.
 
  • #3
dlgoff
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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?
 
  • #4
Moonbear
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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?
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.
 
  • #5
Danger
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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.
 
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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
 
  • #7
lisab
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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?
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.
 
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  • #8
Deveno
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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:.
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.
 
  • #9
Danger
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i'm embarrassed to tell you what happens with me....rather than blow, i inhale sharply, pulling the phlem inwards
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.
 
  • #10
lisab
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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.
:rofl: Danger, you made me truly lol...
 
  • #11
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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.
 
  • #12
Danger
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:rofl: Danger, you made me truly lol...
You are too easily amused.
Not only does it serve as a distraction, but it also equalizes pressure to compensate for the snort.
 
  • #13
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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?

and for two, since I'll need to wash my hands afterward anyway
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.
 
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  • #14
Moonbear
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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.
 
  • #15
DaveC426913
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I'm not in my 40s because I'm doing iterations of 39,
Otherwise known as 39.95 plus shipping and handling. :biggrin:
 
  • #16
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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.
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?
 
  • #17
DaveC426913
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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.
Just because you're not actually exhibiting overt illness symptoms does not mean you're not spreading germs.

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.
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.

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?
Many people I know consider handkerchiefs to be gross as well as antiquated. Throw away tissues are highly preferred over a pocketful of mucus.
 
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  • #18
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Just because you're not actually exhibiting overt illness symptoms does not mean you're not spreading germs.
I was simply talking about having to blow your nose when it is cold, for example.

Many people I know consider handkerchiefs to be gross as well as antiquated. Throw away one are highly preferred over a pocketful of mucus.
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
 
  • #19
DaveC426913
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I was simply talking about having to blow your nose when it is cold, for example.
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.
 
  • #20
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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.
 
  • #21
Danger
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We have at least the US and Canada represented in this thread.
I'm one of the two resident Canuks that I know of. :redface:
 
  • #22
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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:.
I'm 64 and lucky I guess in that I don't blow my nose, at all, except when I have a cold, which is maybe once a year. I don't think people should blow their noses in public. If I do happen to go out in public when sick, then if I absolutely positively feel compelled to blow my nose, then I go somewhere relatively private, like a restroom, and do it ... and then wash my hands. People who blow their noses in public should be confronted and criticized for that, imho. It's disgusting, unnecessary, thoughtless and disrespectful.
 
  • #23
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People who blow their noses in public should be confronted and criticized for that, imho. It's disgusting, unnecessary, thoughtless and disrespectful.
Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
 
  • #24
Danger
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Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
It's probably a purely cultural thing. Same thing as the fact that most North Americans find leg, armpit, and facial hair disgusting on a woman, whereas our observations indicate that such are common and accepted in Europe. It's a matter of what you grow up with. My father carried a linen hanky, but that was socially proper to him because he was born in 1901.
 
  • #25
Monique
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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?
I remember that when I was living in the US 10 yrs ago there were campaigns about sneezing and washing your hands. People were encouraged to sneeze in their elbow pit and sing a song while washing the hands. I don't remember what triggered the campaigns, some sort of perceived biohazard threat. Probably some bird flu.

Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
I'm West-European and I think it is disgusting to blow a nose in public. Sometimes I'm jealous though, of the people who don't appear to care and alleviate themselves in public without shame.

I always hold my breath when someone sneezes nearby, are there any other people who do that?
 

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