Phones on the throne: Where are people most likely to use a mobile device on the toilet?
June 8th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Phones on the throne: Where are people most likely to use a mobile device on the toilet?

On one hand, according to Time magazine, using your phone on the toilet can be a “benign way of living serenely in the moment.”  On the other hand, researchers say it contributes to the spread of germs such as E.coli and staphylococcus and can - if done for extended periods - possibly give you haemorrhoids.

Whether you’re for or against scrolling in the stall, global YouGov data suggests that it’s a popular practice in some markets. China is number one with a bullet: six in ten say they use their phone on the toilet very or fairly often (62%), while a third (35%) say they do not use it often or at all. Italy, where 53% of consumers text from the throne frequently and 43% do so infrequently, is number two, while Singapore (48% vs. 47%) and Spain (47% vs. 48%), both more evenly split, take the third and fourth spots.

The public in Hong Kong (46% net: often vs. 49% net: not often), the UAE (45% vs. 47%), and Denmark (45% vs. 50%) are similarly divided about using digital devices while dropping a deuce.  What Australians lack in frequency – at 43%, they only rank eighth in our 18-market study – they make up in intensity: they are the second-most likely to say they doomscroll on the dunny “very often” (25%).

At the other end of the table, Germans (net: often 28%, net: not often: 54%) are least likely to browse on the bog; as the world-leading “sitzpinklers”, it’s an attitude to bathroom decorum that we might reasonably expect. Consumers based in Poland (36% vs. 65%), Indonesia (37% vs. 60%), and Britain (38% vs. 56%) are also less prone to scrolling on the on the toilet.

Explore our living data – for free

YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying for each market. All surveys were conducted online in May-June 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Pexels