‘R u on the toilet right now? Me too’

February 2, 2012 | By | Comments (2)

After two decades as a wife and mother, I thought I had pretty much seen it all in the “weird behavior” department. Then some of my family members (who know who you are) got addicted to texting in the toilet.

It started one time after the phone rang and I got a text—“can u answer that, i am busy”— from a family member who clearly was lurking somewhere in the house, like a villain in one of those slasher movies where things go badly for the babysitter.

I traced the origin of that message (and many subsequent ones, by the way) to the bathroom, an area of the house I now realize has taken on new roles: “home office,” “game room” and “21st century telephone booth.”

I find it a little unsettling, frankly, to think of them in there, with their cell phone calls echoing off the tile walls. But they seem perfectly comfortable disappearing into the bathroom to check Facebook messages, tweet deep thoughts and play their little Angry Birds game.

So I was relieved to learn, earlier this week, that my family’s behavior is not as aberrant as I feared.  Someone at a marketing agency called 11mark in Virginia got the brilliant idea to ask 1,000 cell phone users about what happens “behind closed stalls,” and as a result we now know that 75 percent of Americans with mobile phones have used them in the toilet. Nearly one in four say they refuse to go to the bathroom without their phones.

What were they doing in there?

–Read a text: 67 percent

–Answered a phone call: 63 percent

–Sent a text: 59 percent

–Read an email: 42 percent

–Initiated a phone call: 41 percent

–Surfed the web: 38 percent

–Used an app: 38 percent

–Sent an email: 32 percent

–Used social networking: 29 percent

–Made an online purchase: 10 percent

I can get used to this. As a wife and mother, I have faced bigger challenges, including “The Case of the Baby Who Never Napped;” “The Man Who Was Allergic to Vegetables,” and “The Mystery of the Disappearing Cardigan: Who Took Mom’s Sweater This Time?”

More disturbing, though, is the finding that while 92 percent always wash their hands after using the bathroom, only 14 percent wash their phones. So, please, everyone, follow the advice of the 11mark people, and learn to “share content, not germs.”

Have you ever used your phone in the bathroom? To do what?

(image via 11mark.com)