Over the past few weeks, I’ve made a rule for myself — No Smartphone in the Bathroom. It started as a flexible arrangement initially and I was not too strict with myself, but over time as I’ve seen its benefits first hand, I’ve solidified my commitment, and I’m sharing this with you to further strengthen it. So, let me repeat, I won’t be taking my smartphone in the bathroom anymore, and if you like you can join me too in adhering to this rule.
There’s no particular reason for this actually. I was just trying to reduce my screen time and my over-dependence on smartphones, and realized that taking my phone with me to the bathroom is just not a good idea overall. I chose to adhere to this rule as it would help me to not only reduce my screen time, but also get some quiet time with my own thoughts. Now, I enjoy thinking, and as I’ve made this rule, I have realized that I do enjoy my time alone in the bathroom without any technology. In a way, it’s peaceful, quiet and relaxing, and believe it or not, it has also subconsciously driven me to make some efforts to keep my bathroom cleaner and make it more welcoming. My bathroom looks great right now and is my personal thinking space with no disturbances and distractions. Instead of spending unnecessary time on my smartphone, as my bathroom visits have gotten shorter, I’m using my time more constructively. In other words, on a day to day basis, I’m wasting less time just by removing my smartphone from the bathroom.
Let me cut to the chase here — if you’re using smartphone in the bathroom, you should now know that using any device, smartphone or tablet, on the toilet is a bad habit. Yes, it is. You may intellectually know this but still, you may be avoiding and ignoring this fact. Because somewhere you gain pleasure from this habit, after all, it’s your alone time with the Internet in a very private space. It gives you a chance to be by yourself and do things that you can’t do when people are around you demanding your attention like watching movie reviews, reading blog articles and consuming meaningless content. (Side note: If you’re reading this right now on your smartphone on the toilet, STOP now, finish your business and read it once you’re outside.)
But I would encourage you to get yourself ready to have some alone time, as boring as it may be at first when you’re on the toilet or in the shower. It’s good to have some downtime for our brains without any stimulation or distraction. We create an opportunity to sit with our thoughts and to reflect on things and events. As Robin Sharma points out, tranquility is the new luxury in our modern world. As we stick to this no smartphone rule, we are able to get some unstructured mental time, which has become a precious and rare commodity these days.
In my research to know if taking smartphone in the bathroom is indeed a bad idea and have some established evidence for it, I found some really good reasons why not to do it:
- There are germs everywhere in the bathroom, and no matter how careful you are, your post-bathroom phones are playgrounds for germs.
- You develop hemorrhoids and other toilet-related disorders.
- It doesn’t give you mental space (as I discussed above). Your brain needs a break too.
So here’s a challenge for you. Remove your smartphones and other devices from your bathroom. Let’s choose to have no screentime on the toilet. It’s easier said than done, but it’s an important step that we can all take towards securing better health for ourselves. And along with that, bringing some sanity and serenity in our lives, and improving our productivity overall.
Experiment for a few days, weeks or even a month with leaving your phone outside of the bathroom and just sitting with your own thoughts. See how it goes for you, and let me know about it.
PS: Here are some fun and interesting stats with regard to smartphone usage on the toilet: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/cell-phone-usage-in-toilet-survey