Art & Culture

Survey Shows How People Use Their Phones In The Bathroom

Claire Miles
Apr 28, 2020

Going to the bathroom is something we all do. It’s one of the things that binds us together in this human experience. We all poop.  While we might think our bathroom activities don’t really take up too much space in our lives, some studies show that we actually may spend almost two hours on the toilet per week. However, that doesn’t mean all that time is going to waste. In fact, quite the contrary. A UK bathroom supplies company, QS Supplies, recently conducted a survey on over 1,000 people ages 16 to 74 living in the US and the UK. According to the survey’s findings, people are making the most of their time spent in the bathroom by using their phones, for a whole range of purposes.

From FaceTime to dating apps, communication emerged as by far the most popular way to pass the time while on the toilet. As many as 42% of participants who said they use their phones while defecating used apps under the umbrella of “social media and communication”, with a whopping 45% of those people saying they used Facebook. Meanwhile, 35% went to Instagram users, while only 25% used Twitter. TikTok polled in as the least used social media app among participants, with only 4% saying they use the app, a statistic which might reflect more on the age range of participants than on the app’s popularity; nearly half of all TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24.

man on the toilet on his phone

Getty Images/Srinrat Wuttichaikitcharoen/EyeEm

Apart from communication, there are a number of other things people enjoy doing on their phones while on the toilet. Around 40% of respondents who admitted to using apps in the bathroom said they used their phones for gaming purposes, 30% used their devices to watch the news, and 22% enjoyed online shopping; of those online shoppers, 33% said they actually made a purchase. A mere 6.8% of users used their phones to swipe on dating apps.

Overall, the survey indicates that there are new standards when it comes to phone usage in the bathroom, and what was once deemed impolite might be considered totally reasonable in today’s social media culture. In fact, most survey participants agreed that texting and sending emails while on the toilet is “acceptable.” When questioned about which activities were acceptable to engage in while pooping, 67% of these respondents said texting, 53% said answering emails, and nearly 27% agreed that making a phone call is okay. 7% of participants admitted to having sent a photo of their feces, while another 5% had video-chatted from the toilet.

No matter how we choose to spend our time on the toilet, we are clearly dependent on our phones. Actually, some of us are literally dependent – 23% of the survey’s participants reported that they were unable to poop without their devices in their hands.