The answer is everywhere… including the bathroom. Yes, that’s right. Over half of US cell phone owners use their phone while using the bathroom. Slightly more concerning is how these phones are used with 70% of people admitting having a conversation while multi-tasking with more personal matters.
The question asked to a wide range of Americans was: Have you ever used your cell phone while you were using the bathroom? 56% of participants in this survey answered ‘Yes’.
The survey then asked: What have you been doing on your cell phone while you were using the bathroom? This is were the results get interesting…
- – 70% of people talked on the phone
- – 62% sent text messages
- – 30% sent emails
- – 27% played games
- – 19% checked up on their social network (Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- – 7% read an e-book or e-magazine
- – 7% ‘checked-in’ using LBS like Foursquare
These results may seem interesting, funny, damn right outrageous, but there has been another set of findings from ‘across the pond’ in the UK that make a more distressing read…
The study found that although 95% of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92% of phones and 82% of hands had bacteria on them. Worryingly, 16% of hands and 16% of phones were found to harbour E. coli – bacteria of a faecal origin. Harmful E. coli (Escherichia coli) is associated with stomach upsets and has been implicated in serious cases of food poisoning such as the fatal O157 outbreak in Germany in June 2011.
Hygiene expert Dr Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “This study provides more evidence that some people still don’t wash their hands properly, especially after going to the toilet. I hope the thought of having E. coli on their hands and phones encourages them to take more care in the bathroom – washing your hands with soap is such a simple thing to do but there is no doubt it saves lives.”
So, does it matter that other people are making phone calls whilst in the bathroom or is it acceptable, as long as they wash their hands? What do you think?