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Facility managers around the world have always dealt with public restroom related complaints, but they should very well brace themselves for even more scrutiny. According to a survey by 11Mark, users are spending even more time in the toilet. However, these extended visits are not due to digestive distress; they are driven by increasing technology tendencies. Despite every aspect of etiquette, approximately three-fourths of Americans with mobile phones report they use their phones in the bathroom.
Americans are texting, e-mailing, and yes—as you may have heard—talking on the phone in the bathroom. Approximately one quarter of Americans report they don’t go into the bathroom without their phone. The new report, IT In The Toilet, uses the “bathroom benchmark” to examine just how connected we have become.
The survey of 1,000 Americans reveals that neither men nor women are going to the bathroom alone today; 74% of men and 76% of women report they have used their mobile phone in the bathroom. In terms of answering a call, 63% report they have, and 41% have initiated a phone call. Many (67%) have read a text, and 38% have surfed the Internet.
Men are a bit more attached, however, with 30% reporting, “I don‟t go to the bathroom without my mobile phone,” versus 20% of women. Men also work more from the bathroom; 20% say they have participated in work-related calls versus 13% of their female colleagues.
Droid users are slightly more likely to use their phones in the bathroom overall; 87% have used their phone while indisposed, versus 84% of BlackBerry users and 77% of iPhone users. BlackBerry users are most likely to answer a call in the bathroom. Of the BlackBerry users, 75% report they have done so, versus 67% of Droid and 60% of iPhone users. But, Droid and iPhone users are more likely to browse a social network or use an app (in the bathroom) than their BlackBerry colleagues.
As expected, Gen Y respondents are the heaviest IT in the toilet users. Ninety-one percent use their phone in the bathroom. But older generations are not far behind; 80% of Gen X report they use the phone in the bathroom, as well as 65% of Boomers, and 47% of the Silent Generation (indicating it may no longer be all that silent).
Americans are using apps to connect to their favorite content, quickly; 59% of Gen Y, 43% of Gen X, and 22% of Boomers have used an app in the bathroom. While online, they are doing more than just surfing; 16% of Gen Y report they have made an online purchase while in the bathroom. iPhone users are particularly likely to browse and buy in the bathroom; 22% have made a purchase, versus 10% of Americans with mobile phones overall.
“The writing is on the stall,” says Nicole Burdette, principal, 11mark. “This study confirms what we all know —that the last private place is no longer private.”