If you’ve ever received a call while in the bathroom and wondered whether to take it, or decided to check your text messages while on the toilet, you’re not alone: A recent survey of 1,000 smartphone users (conducted in America, but the findings are probably relevant the world over) by a company called 11mark has revealed that many smartphone users do use their devices in and on the toilet, although how often varies by type of device:
- A whole 7/8 of Android users (87%) admit to having used their phone on the toilet. Whether this is related to Android users being more likely to be male is unconfirmed.
- Fewer Blackberry users (84%) use their toilets in the smallest room, but they still represent a large percentage of the total userbase.
- Bringing up the rear, just over 3/4 of IPhone users (77%) actually use their phones on the toilet. Again, this could be because IPhones are more likely to be owned by women.
Apparently phones are used for pretty much everything. The study, entitled “IT in the Toilet” finds that people use their phones to text, make calls, email one another and even surf the web while on the toilet. Apparently this is indicative of how dependent on instant communication and connectivity we have all become, but could also be a sign of multi tasking in our hectic lifestyles. This measure of connectivity and mobile use is known as the “bathroom benchmark.”
It isn’t just the type of device that is a factor in mobile usage in the bathroom: the age of the user also makes a difference. 65% (About 2/3) of those aged 48-65 user their devices while in the bathroom but this figure rises to 91% (over 9/10) in the 18-30 year old segment.
Apparently men are more likely to use their phones for work related reasons when using their cloakroom suites whereas women use it more for recreation and social uses.
According to Nicole Burdette, a spokesperson for 11mark, “The writing is on the stall.” She goes on to say that “this study confirms what we all know; that the last private place is no longer private.” Regardless of the bad puns and toilet humour, it does seem clear that we’re becoming ever more connected and finding ways to infuse our visits to the bathroom with electronic entertainment, efficient working practices and social networking. Nicole, once more, states that “The ‘mobile-everywhere’ phenomenon is flushing out a host of new opportunities for savvy communicators.”
Of course, please be aware that any phone usage in the bathroom brings its own risks: phones are particularly susceptible to water damage so don’t go resting it on vanity units and then knocking it into a basin of water and being surprised when your phone stops working.