Smartphone addiction is real, especially among the Gen Z and Gen Y users. Apple and Google have tried to curb smartphone addiction with tools like Screen Time and Digital Health that allow you to track and control the time you spend on your device. By the way, these tools haven’t proved helpful for most users. It’s not that the smartphones themselves are addictive. It’s the apps, games, videos, and other content that makes them addictive. People’s desire to stay connected, informed, and entertained is so strong that they even use phones on the toilet all the time. A recent survey conducted by folks at BankMyCell sheds light on the unconventional and filthy toilet smartphone habits of Americans.
The unconventional ways people use their phones while on their ‘throne’
There is a good chance that the pictures you see on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat were posted from the toilet. People post pictures, play games, text, tweet, or watch videos while doing their business on the toilet. Between June 1 and August 31, BankMyCell conducted a “tongue-in-cheek” survey of 2,114 people across the United States to look at the extent people go to stay connected.
The survey highlighted the toilet smartphone habits of people across different generations, genders, locations, and device operating systems.
BankMyCell found that toilet smartphone usage is far more predominant among males than females. About 80% men said they used phones in the bathroom, compared to 69% women. Overall, 74.5% Americans admitted to using their smartphones while on the toilet.
Android users are much more likely to use phones in the bathroom than their iOS counterparts. About 88% Android users admitted to using their devices in the bathroom compared to 76% for iOS users.
As expected, the younger generation has much worse toilet smartphone habits than the older ones. According to the survey, 96% Gen Z users (aging under 23) and 90% Gen Y millennials use their phones on the toilet. About 82% Gen X users, 57% boomers, and only 11% Silent Gen users take their phones to the toilet. The Gen Z and Gen Y users said smartphone apps are “fundamental for toilet time.” Phones have effectively replaced newspapers in the bathroom.
People in Georgia, California, New York, Mississippi and Pennsylvania were more likely to use their phones in the bathroom.
So, what do smartphone addicts do with their devices in the bathroom? About 54% people use social media apps, 40.5% use phones for texting, roughly 40.5% play music on their phones while in the bathroom, and about 38% watch videos. What’s more, 35% men and 11% women play games on their devices while sitting on the ‘throne.’
Sometimes, people even take their work to the bathroom. The survey revealed that one in nine men take calls from their boss while on the toilet. As if that wasn’t interesting enough, one in nine ‘romantic’ American men admitted to using dating apps such as Tinder in the privy. When it comes to women, 37% of them confessed having sent a snap from the toilet.
People also risk damaging their phones due to their unconventional toilet smartphone habits. About 20% women participants have dropped their phones down the toilet at least once. The ratio is roughly 13% for men. Women are also more likely to drop their phones in the toilet repeatedly.
The worst thing about people’s toilet smartphone habits
The filthiest revelation from the survey is that most people don’t clean their phones even though they use their devices in the bathroom. About 90% Americans clean their hands after doing their business. But only 16.5% clean their phones. That’s quite shocking! Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that phones carry up to 10x more bacteria than most toilet seats.
The bathroom is not a great place to use your phone because, according to scientists, the device could get fecal bacteria. According to the University of Michigan’s assistant professor for epidemiology Emily Martin, “Taking a cellphone into the bathroom …is kind of like going in, not washing your hands and then coming back out. It’s the same level of concern.” BankMyCell recommends people to clean their phones with a wet wipe occasionally.