After sex and on the toilet: why we can’t put our phones down – but we really, really should

Age: Fresh out of the poll oven. A new one, of 1,098 American adults by the games website Solitaired, finds we use our phones all the time and everywhere.

No way! People are addicted to phones? I honestly had no idea … Hey, less of the sarcasm. You might not realise the extent of it. Nowhere or no occasion is sacred.

Go on then, give me examples. Forty per cent of respondents said they check their phones immediately after sex.

After? I check mine during. Remind me never to … you know. Anyway! A staggering 99% said they used their phone while watching television.

What’s the 1% doing? Probably just watching TV.

Like in the olden days, when people were able to concentrate on one thing at a time? Exactly. Now 78% said they would look at their phone at a concert, 42% while crossing the street and a third while biking or skating.

That could be dangerous, I guess. Yes, 44% of these said they had hurt themselves by falling or crashing into something while distracted. Then half said they had pulled their phones out during a wedding.

Weddings are often on a Saturday – how else are you going to keep a tab on the scores? And a third at funerals and wakes.

I can see that could be seen to be disrespectful. And then there’s the toilet: 90% said they regularly use the phone while on the loo.

What else are you supposed to do? Just your business, maybe? Also, what about hygiene issues? And have you considered security? Is someone at the NSA watching you, with your pants round your ankles …?

OK, OK, I’m going to stop it. I’ll read one of those loo books instead – do they even still do them? I dunno, but that might not be the answer. Spending too much time sitting on the toilet isn’t the best idea and could lead to piles, whether you’re reading trivia or playing solitaire on your phone. Which is what Solitaired does, incidentally.

Oh, I see. So a games developer finds that people like to do things – play games, for example – on their phones? To be fair, there are plenty of other surveys backing this up. A YouGov survey in 2019 found that 57% of Brits use their phone while on the toilet – in the under 30 age group, that rose to 86% of men and 84% of women. So I see why you’re not surprised; we’re hooked, just look around … Oi, I’m talking to you, why are you looking at your phone?

Do say: “I’ll be out in a second, just washing my hands.”

Don’t say: “Maybe go somewhere else, I’ll be a while, just got to get to level seven.”

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