Toddler with Potty Seat

Do you read in the bathroom? I wouldn’t say everyone does it but I suspect it’s pretty prevalent. I have a friend who can’t, ahem, ‘go’ without reading material and resorts to reading the back of shampoo bottles in a pinch. Moms especially like reading in the bathroom because the door locks and the fan provides white noise. Doesn’t totally mute out the sound of little people pounding on the door but it’s a start.

I never put too much thought into taking traditional reading materials into the bathroom; books, magazines, newspapers have all flowed in and out of our bathroom with nary a second thought. In fact I used to have a big basket of cartoon books for the bathroom – The Simpsons, Dilbert, Get Fuzzy and Baby Blues were some of our favorites.

But now we read on our technology and that’s a whole other kettle of um, water.

While I have been known to occasionally take the telephone into the bathroom with me when I’m having a long conversation, I always mute it while peeing and flushing. And I only do that with someone really close like my mom or my bestie (hey, they do it to me but somewhat less discretely…). And really, that’s at home; in public it’s a different story. I loathe when people have phone conversations in the restroom. One time I was doing my business when a phone rang in the bathroom. I listened, totally creeped out, as the woman in the stall next to me answered her phone MID STREAM and proceeded to have a conversation! Ew! Do I have a double standard? In this case – Yup!

When my husband got an iPod Touch he started taking it into the bathroom with him. I was a little grossed out.

But then I got an Android phone and started doing it too. At first, it was very absentminded. I would be playing Angry Birds, feel the call of nature and just take it with me, never missing a beat in my single-minded destruction of those laughing pigs.

Then I started seeking it out when I needed to go. Woe betide my children if one of them had gotten to it and wouldn’t let go.

In my defense, I do more than play Angry Birds on it. I am also addicted to Where’s My Water. And all the blogs I read are on there. I catch up on Facebook. I Tweet. And I even legitimately read the few eBooks I own.

So really why do I feel a little dirty taking devices in the bathroom when lowly paperback novel got totally abused? Because I touch the thing with my dirty hands and then put it to my face.


But also, it’s the money. If I get something on a book or it falls in the toilet, I can chuck it and I’m out $20. If my phone goes in, it’s done and I’m out several hundred dollars.

So to resolve my squeamishness, because this technology is here to stay and will only get more integral to our lives, I have started wiping down my phone/iPod with an alcohol wipe before I leave the bathroom. It relieves my eww reflex and is a good practice in general especially during cold & flu season.

What is your ick factor threshold for reading material/technology in the bathroom? Has the unthinkable ever happened and your device met with a watery end? Tell us about it!