Do You Use Your Mobile Phone In The Bathroom?

We’ve all got that person at work who just yakkety yaks away on their phone in the bathroom, and it’s probably the same guy/gal who uses their shoe to flush and opens the door with a paper towel (so inconsistent, germaphobes!) Hey, maybe that’s even you, because as a new survey says, lots of us use our mobile devices in the john. No judgment!

Android users are the most likely to tippety tap or talk in the tinkle room, at 87%, BlackBerry folks are close at 84% and iPhoners trail at 77%, says Mobile Burn. But of those smartphone users, BlackBerry people are the most likely to answer or make a phone call while on the can, and iPhone users are more likely to be socially networking or using an app.

Generational divides play a big part in how much we use our phones in the parked position: A whopping 91% of those born from 1977 to 1993, admit to phone usage in the loo, compared to about half of those over the age of 65.

How about you guys?

For more facts and figures from the survey check out Mobile Burn.

Bathroom time means mobile phone time for many users [Mobile Burn]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Coffee says:

    I’ll check my e-mail or text when I’m pinching one off, but I never talk while in the restroom, and I only do it at home.

    Also, what the hell kind of a random question is this? I don’t even know you…aren’t you getting a little personal here? I think I need some space, Quirk.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Ceiling Quirk is watching you pee.

    • smo0 says:

      Yeah, it’s like reading a magazine or something… but I never touch my phone with dirty hands.
      When I’m done, I set the phone down – do my things, wash my hands, THEN pick it back up.

      I also keep my phones clean with sanitizing wipes.

  2. Rocket says:

    I’ll play games on my phone while on the John, but talking is just weird. Just like how you’re not supposed to talk to the dude next to you at the urinals.

  3. ap0 says:

    No talking, just email/text/games/web surfing/etc.

  4. aleck says:

    This article is a little behind times. Most folks I see in the bathroom with phones are Twittering, Facebooking, playing Angry Birds, texting, etc. It is impossible to find an empty stall after lunch in my office.

  5. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    No. And I’m extremely tempted to make disgusting noises when someone is carrying on a conversation in the next stall.

    • DraconWolfX says:

      I find repeatedly flushing works pretty well to get them to hang up. :)

      • Rachacha says:

        i have tried that, but there are several people in my office who receive a call while in a stall, and while they are on the call can be heard taking care of #2 and then flushing, so a flush from a stranger will not help

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      One of my coworkers chats on her cell phone in the bathroom so the boss doesn’t notice. I think it’s annoying. So the flushing thing sounds good, and I think I’ll start blowing my nose loud enough to sound like a goose, too.

  6. Cat says:

    Y’all need to put down the stupidphones and get a life.

    • Coffee says:

      Judgmental much, Cat? How is dickering on your smart phone any different than reading a magazine?

      • little stripes says:

        Or making comments online, for that matter.

      • Cat says:

        I guess I’m just tired of people that are so attached to their phones they can’t even put them down long enough to go to the bathroom.

        • Coffee says:

          Personally, my impatience extends to people who use their phones during social interactions. For example, I listen to podcasts on my smart phone and in public, but if I’m going to pay for groceries, I pause it and pop out an earbud out of courtesy to the cashier. In contrast, pooping time is bubble time…and I can do what I want in my bubble as long as it doesn’t involve violating your bubble.

          • SerenityDan says:

            +1 to you for being a good person to the checkout people

          • little stripes says:

            At one of my local post offices, there is a sign that says, “If you are on your cell phone, we will gladly help the next person in line.” Love it!

            Sometimes I might chat on the phone while at the store, though I try not too (awkward), but I know perfectly well when I’m going to be checking out, so I always end the call before I even make it to the check-out line. It’s not hard. People who talk while in the check-out line suck.

            • Coffee says:

              Agreed…there is nothing wrong with chatting in public unless you’re in a confined space. Using passive media (e-mailing, texting, etc.) should always be fine provided you’re not actively interacting with someone.

              In other words, sitting on the bus, you’re in a confined space. Don’t talk on the phone if you can help it because there are people around you who don’t want to hear about your relationship problems. In contrast, texting, e-mailing, listening to music…all fine because you’re not obligated to converse with someone on the bus.

              • little stripes says:

                Exactly. And honestly, even in somewhat confined spaces like the bus, I don’t care too much as long as you keep it at a reasonable level. Having a conversation on the phone is fine and I don’t see it as any more of a bother than having a conversation with your seat-mate. As long as it’s not super personal, awkward, or, most importantly, too loud. Then it gets annoying.

                In the check-out line, everyone is just way, way too close to each other and it’s just awkward. And rude. Same goes for in doctor’s offices were you don’t generally talk to each other. That one person on the phone always seems super loud and annoying.

        • little stripes says:

          Why are you “tired of people” who use their cell phones to text or check e-mail while they are in the bathroom? How does this affect you in any way? Are you watching them poop and the glow of the cell phone messes with the ambiance? Because how is this any different from reading a book or the paper? There is no difference, except that you think there is.

          I think you’re taking what others do in the bathroom stall way, way too personally. They aren’t doing it to annoy you. Promise.

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        Have you ever spoken to someone on the phone while he was pinching a loaf? I consider it a tad disprespectful – if you want to take a shit, don’t include me in on it.

        • Coffee says:

          No, I haven’t, and I wouldn’t appreciate it if someone called me from the crapper. As I said in the first post, I’ll check e-mail or text, but I won’t talk on the phone. When I said “dickering”, I meant swiping my finger on it as I surf the web or an use an app.

    • little stripes says:

      How is making judgmental, inane comments on Consumerist more productive than someone checking their e-mail or texting someone on their phone? Pot, kettle, etc etc.

      • Cat says:

        I didn’t mean “non-productive”. How about disrespectful?

        • little stripes says:

          How is texting someone or checking your e-mail disrespectful? Sure, talking on the phone certainly is, but the good majority of people don’t chat on the phone while going potty. Only annoying people do that. You do realize that cell phones have uses other than talking, right?

        • little stripes says:

          Also, you said “get a life” which is where I got the productive bit. You seem to think that looking at your e-mail while pooping indicates that you don’t have a life or you’re trying to be disrespectful. Weirdly paranoid.

      • Wolfbird says:

        dear god, YOU get a life.

  7. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I seldom take my phone. If ever, I just check unread mails and that’s it. Frankly use my Kindle more often, but always at home.

    I’ve only had a handful of times where I had to use my phone while in the toilet. Typically it’s during a long conference call and I just had to pee.

    • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

      HAHA, I have one client that likes to call and we end up getting into conversations about radium stuff all the time, sometimes I have to sneak into the bathroom. The only other time was a LONG conference call with project manager/programmers/graphics designers for a project, that one I swear was 3 hours long.

  8. sufreak says:

    Never talking. Thats rude to the person on the other end, as well as other people that may be there.

  9. George4478 says:

    Just the camera.

  10. Portlandia says:

    I almost never talk on the phone in the bathroom but I definitely do tickle the texts in there.

    That being said, if I do hear someone TALKING on a cell phone I make sure I flush a few extra times just to be sure…

  11. finbar says:

    It’s kind of gross when someone answers the phone in a public restroom.

  12. Portlandia says:

    I almost never talk on the phone in the bathroom but I definitely do tickle the texts in there.

    That being said, if I do hear someone TALKING on a cell phone I make sure I flush a few extra times just to be sure…

    • Portlandia says:

      Damn, got an error message on the first post. I should have checked before reposting. Sorry for the duplicate.

  13. sponica says:

    using the phone in bathrooms is how my uncle has managed to drown two phones in urinals…and a friend’s friend dropped hers in a porto-john.

    plus, you know the person on the other end can hear EVERYTHING! my friend used to work as a CSR for T-Mobile, and she found it hysterical how many people would call while peeing….

    • George4478 says:

      >>managed to drown two phones in urinals…

      OK, retrieving those….

      >>and a friend’s friend dropped hers in a porto-john.

      but that one’s gone. I don’t care how good a phone it was.

    • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

      Once it hit the porta john it would no longer be my problem. Really cuz I don’t even go in them to pee. Would prefer peeing outside to a porta john and fishing around in one for a phone? Oh hells no!

    • Rachacha says:

      Could you imagine a Skype or FaceTime call where you walked into a restroom or porta potty? You might be able to convince the other caller that you were not taking care of business, but then imagine dropping the phone and the image that would be seen as the phone drown in human waste before ultimately dying.

  14. Vox Republica says:

    I would use my iPhone in public restrooms if somebody would devise an anti-shame app.

  15. TerpBE says:

    You don’t need your phone. Just cut out pig-shaped pieces of toilet paper, drop them in the bowl, and play Angry Turds.

  16. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:


  17. crispyduck13 says:

    I do it at work sometimes but only texting, talking in the stall is breaking Golden Rule #2.

    Golden Rule #1: All organic material must be INSIDE the bowl, then FLUSHED.
    Golden Rule #2: No talking!
    Golden Rule #3: Don’t flush your goddamn tampons/pads/diapers!!

    Surprised how many people break Rule #1, I’d hate to see what their bathrooms at home look like.

  18. FreeMarketFan says:

    I just use it to read the paper.

    I mean, if the old guy can bring in the post and read the sports section, why can’t I pull up ESPN?

  19. tungstencoil says:

    Yes, but things that require tapping only.

    If someone is talking, I will at the very least flush repeatedly. If that someone isn’t a co-worker and I think I can get away with it, I will also make icky noises and even throw in the occasional “oh no!” or “uh oh!” in there.

  20. tungstencoil says:

    Yes, but things that require tapping only.

    If someone is talking, I will at the very least flush repeatedly. If that someone isn’t a co-worker and I think I can get away with it, I will also make icky noises and even throw in the occasional “oh no!” or “uh oh!” in there.

  21. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    I mostly use mine while I’m in the tub. Such as now. I used to play my DS in the tub so this is an upgrade LOL

  22. Shinchan - Please assume that all of my posts are sarcastic unless indicated otherwise says:

    The last place I worked at, you could always pick out the members of the sales staff. They were the only ones who refused to get off of their cell phones long enough to take a leak…

  23. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Of course you use your phone when on the throne. Not for voice calls though…that’s radically inconsiderate at best. But text, game, email, websurf, whatever to your heart’s content.

    I’m baffled that there’s even any implication that there’s something wrong with that.

  24. gafpromise says:

    Eww. Just one image people – take a few moments to ponder retrieving your phone after you’ve dropped it in the commode.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      That’s why I take my Ipad instead. if I drop it it most likely will not fall between my legs to end up in the bowl

  25. energynotsaved says:

    I work a temp job where personal phones are not permitted. So, I check my text messages and voice mail in the potty. I answer text messages while on the throne. But, I don’t make or receive calls in the potty.

  26. Kate says:

    Actually talking on your phone is sooo old school.

  27. azgirl says:

    I take my phone, and I hang out on the net, facebook, but never take calls..

    I also have a serious decontamination procedure for the phone, every time.

  28. t2fastspin says:
  29. shinseiromeo says:

    This question really gets to me… especially when people say “ew gross”, they have absolutely NO idea what they’re talking about.

    As a man, you go to the bathroom, pull down your pants, relieve yourself and play with your phone. Put your phone away/in a pocket, wipe, wash hands, and you’re done.

    At what point in that scenario is “ew gross”? Do people think you wipe shit all over their hands then play Angry Birds and go on their merry way?

    Grow up people. And if you think I’m going to sit on a toilet for 30 minutes and stare at the wall, you’re out of your mind. That is THE time to read up on the news and play small games.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      “As a man, you go to the bathroom, pull down your pants, relieve yourself and play with your phone.”

      Uh… you pull down your pants and play with your PHONE? Alrighty, then.

    • CrankyOwl says:

      If you’re sitting on the toilet for 30 minutes, you probably need more fiber in your diet.

    • SamiJ says:

      But before you sit down, you’ve touched the bathroom door,the stall door, the door latch. So it is feasible you have someone else’s poo on your hands.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      @shinseiromeo: 30 minutes? Drink prune juice and it may help you. I mean really, the toilet is a function for two things and so do both quickly and get out. Your phone cannot wait for 10 minutes until you get back? Some of you have serious OCD issues if waiting 10 minutes to use your phone disrupts your life.

      Attention: YOU’RE NOT THAT IMPORTANT! lol

  30. farcedude2 says:

    Like a lot of others, I don’t talk, but I do use it for web/email/text/etc. Due to medical issues, I do spend a lot more time on the toilet waiting for things to happen, though.

  31. chiieddy says:

    I recently walked into the bathroom at work and there was someone using it as their own personal phone booth. I walked directly into a stall and flushed the toilet. They left.

  32. Martha Gail says:

    There should be an option for using the phone, but not talking. I’ll read mail, play games, text, etc at home in the bathroom. I never talk, though. I’m afraid the other person will hear the echo and know what I’m doing. I also never take my phone out in a public restroom. Ew.

  33. evilpete says:

    I make a point of flushing ( multiple times ) when someone uses their cell phone in a public restroom.

  34. NumberSix says:

    I do it and it’s gross, I know; but I do put it away before I have to do dirty business. I would NEVER take a call in there though.

  35. palace_gypsy says:

    “it’s probably the same guy/gal who uses their shoe to flush and opens the door with a paper towel”

    And for all these years I have been using a paper towel to flush and opening the door with my shoe.


  36. MrEvil says:

    Never talk, but browse the internet, read e-mail, play a game with the sound turned off.

  37. backinpgh says:

    I never talk on the phone while doing my business, but I’ll text or go on the internet.

  38. Clyde Barrow says:

    “and it’s probably the same guy/gal who uses their shoe to flush and opens the door with a paper towel”

    I beg to differ. That guy is the person that walks out of the stall and passes the sink and does not wash his hands.

  39. Jemaine says:

    My dad used to do it talking to me on the phone. My sister used to do it back when home phones were all the rage. I don’t think it’s gross, it’s just awkward. If I was on the phone with someone I should say “nice flush, number one or number 2”.

  40. Ed says:

    I make as much noise as possible when I walk into the bathroom and someone is in there talking. Coughing, multiple unnecessary flushes, and whatever else I can get my body to do. Supremely annoying.

  41. Bodger says:

    To look at the news on BBC or to listen to the top-of-the-hour NPR newscast, sure. Oddly, I don’t actually talk on the phone all that much and my texting is probably on the order of a few lines per week — it is a convenience and an aid in emergencies, not an addiction.

  42. diagoro says:

    Used to work with a guy (1st year lawyer) who would have his coffee and donut in the stall. Really, I couldn’t imagine anything worse……..

  43. AngryK9 says:

    I’ve never talked on the phone in any bathroom other than my own.

  44. Patriot says:

    Count me in as one who wants to punch those assholes in the face that talk on their mobile phone in the bathroom. I don’t need the sound of my bodily functions being broadcast to your aunt Fran plus I just have to assume you’re some sort of pervert covertly taking pictures or video.

  45. make7acs says:

    No talking, but I’ll look at my email, text, or play some games while finishing the deed.

  46. the real napster says:

    Why is there no “at the work restroom” option? The lack of that I think is skewing the results, because I wouldn’t use it in a PUBLIC restroom, but the work restroom? yes. There is a difference you know.

  47. Carlee says:

    When I’m at work, I sometimes bring my phone with me when I go to the restroom – not to use, but in case someone calls me while I’m walking to or from (I have my work phone forwarded to my cell number). The other day, I was in the stall (not “using” the bathroom) and someone called – it was somewhat urgent so I had to answer. Someone else walked into the restroom and was washing her hands. I was just praying no one would come in and flush – that would have been very embarrassing.

    But normally I don’t use the phone in the restroom (to talk or text or anything). It’s just gross.

  48. Snip says:

    No to both. Goodness knows I don’t want the person on the phone to hear me tinkle. And as to entertainment, I prefer a good old fashioned newspaper or magazine.

  49. SEIowaRes says:

    I guess it’s the girl in me. My cell phone rings and I eventually head to the bathroom…afterall, girls want company when they go, right?!?!?!?! ROFLMAO. Then again, it’s the one place that I have a reason to reduce my multi-tasking to 2 things (the phone and the obvious) and the only time I get a chance to to talk without interruption some days!

    Most people hear the flush or the echo and jokingly ask if I enjoy the company or “thanks for sharing,” but then again, I only do this with close personal friends, never business calls! ROFLMAO!!!!