Okay, so this may be a cringe worthy topic, but I think I need to shine a little light on the matter; I’m talking about media consumption in the most private of all private spaces, the bathroom.
Now if I’m being honest, my smartphone typically doesn’t leave my side. And if I’ve got to go, it comes along with me. I’m not a gamer, Facebooker or Tweeter whilst on the loo, I’m too much of a germaphobe for that. But if I get a text, I will have a read.
Now before you begin to judge, take note that the stats are on my side. A recent survey by Sony and O2 found that a whopping 75% of both males and females use their smartphones whilst on the toilet, with 25% admitting to making a call (Drewett 2013). Furthermore, a quarter of men admit to sitting down to urinate so that they are ‘hands-free’ to continue their smartphone use….. ahhhh?
To seek further reassurance (as not to humiliate myself in front of my fellow bloggers), I decided to carry out a little of my own research via a group iMessage with my closest pals. When asked if they engaged with their iPhone whilst on the loo, their varying responses were amusing and fascinating to say the least:
J: ‘I go on Facebook chat, Instagram, Twitter and check my emails, I do it all. Nothing wrong with that!’
A: ‘Yep! And Candy Crush! That’s a given.’
K: ‘Omg. Never.’
C: ‘I do it all the time!!’
K: ‘Ummm, please tell me that you all Dettol wipe your phones when you’re done?’
C: ‘I said I use my phone Kiaya, not wipe my bum with it.’
… and so the banter continued.
So as it turns out, I’m not alone and media use in the bathroom is gaining momentum. Perhaps it really is time to purchase some Dettol wipes.
When exactly did this method of consumption become acceptable daily practice? Or is it acceptable for that matter? What are your thoughts? Media technologies and our questionable consumption of them have transformed the most private of all spaces into a space in which we are privately yet unavoidably connected. An icky thought to say the least.
Drewett, M 2013, ‘75% of people use their phone on the toilet’, Digital Spy, 8 March, viewed 2 August, http://www.digitalspy.com.au/odd/news/a464219/75-percent-of-people-use-their-phone-on-the-toilet.html