Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/25/toilet_talk_etiquette/

Reg readers reveal their holiday toilet texting plans

Beats staring at the walls

By Joe Fay

Posted in Bootnotes, 25th November 2009 18:00 GMT

As our US readers get ready to head home for the holidays and our UK readers face up to the fact that Christmas/Yule/2010 is just around the corner, it's time to deliver the final word on the issue of toilet texting.

Last month, Intel claimed that research showed that three quarters of Americans feel it is "perfectly appropriate to use Internet-enabled devices, including laptops, netbooks and cell phones, in the bathroom". Religious services and dates, on the other hand, were largely thought to be no-go areas for mobile comms.

So, is it really a big deal to slip off to the bog for a crafty text or laptop surf during the big turkey dinner? We thought the best people to ask were Reg readers.

For Peyton, it makes perfect sense to text from the toilet, if the table's out of bounds.

If you can't text, etc., from the table, then the next logical place to do so would be from the lav - doesn't necessarily mean while on the bog (especially for the ladies - considering they often get the nice little couch area).

The problem is, Peyton can't see why there's even a problem texting from the table.

I'm surprised by surfing/texting from the table. Seems like you really aren't bugging anyone with this. I do it often enough if I'm dining solo - beats staring at the wall :\ Perhaps the grotesquely offensive act of answering the phone while at the table has tainted all the mobile functions.

It could be Peyton, but it's a pleasure to know that the mobiles comm revolution means you've now got something more interesting to beat staring at the wall.

The confusion doesn't stop there. A number of anonymous cowards split etiquette hairs on call handling while handling the call of nature.

WTF?

is fine, who can it hurt (apart from yourself if you happen to drop your phone)

however, voice calls from the the crapper, is WRONG.

My building hosts conferences, and i have witnessed people 'entering the facilities' pacing up and down while making a phone call, then leaving.

WTF!! if its a private call, go outside, not to the crapper.

Or as this other AC puts it:

I never do calls while in the crapper. But I've had INCOMING calls there... and sometimes they're the kind of calls you just can't leave unanswered. These cases are embarassing, and I try to make 'em real quick. If the caller in question is my girlfriend, well, I'll tell her "I'M IN THE BOG!" as a warning signal.

I do surf with my Blackberry on the crapper... but that might have to do with the fact that the bog is the only place where nobody's checking what you're doing. Personal space!

Yes, and there's so many other things you can do in that personal space. Have a kip, a spot of lunch, even a little light body shaving. There's one thing you absolutely must not do though, according to a female reader.

Don't call your girlfriend from the toilet

"First, I wanted to post anon but then I thought what the heck, there aren't any women on El Reg anyway."

Hey! I'm a girl! And no, not the 'typical' geek girl either - I wear skirts/heels and sometimes even makeup... AND I know what a date is! :)

Mmm, there goes the marketing department's reader demographics research. But please, continue.

Sorry guys, but if we're on a date and you pull out your phone/whatever, you're obviously not that interested in me. There won't be a second date, and unless you're extremely lucky there will be an expedited end to the first one. Unless someone is dying, you can wait to answer it until the date is over. Besides, I can do better.

For those doing it in the bathroom stall, yuck! You put that thing up by your mouth! Voice calls are out of the question. The company I work for makes hotel reservations and you'd be shocked how often I hear "EW! He was in the bathroom!" after somone gets off a call. Really? You couldn't wait to make that call?

Oh, and someone said something about us having a nice little couch in there? No women's bathroom I've ever been in has had a couch. Ever.

Thanks Cowardette. We've always wondered about these mythical couches. But really, you've been on dates in toilets? That's yucky.

Sadly, a few of our readers got the wrong end of the stick, and decided to use it as a toilet brush.

Darren clearly locked himself in the cubicle to consider the issue, and reached right back into... the past.

While working for Symbian, in the early days, we each received a Nokia 7650, a few of us were in the pub when I received an MMS from a collegue with a photo of the pan in trap 1.

Actually, Darren, we think we know where that came from.

WTF?

Oh yeah i txt while sitting on the bog its ok, oops was that the camera , oh shit i just MMSd my dick to my boss again, ah he'll understand he's a great guy, he's been so good to me, man these pills are kickin in hard, fuck what was i doing with my phone again, have i finished with it or was i gonna txt someone...

Which left it to Adam to call on that great tech etiquettist, Douglas Adams.

Those Golgrafrincham phone sanitisers would have had a use afterall!

Thanks Adam. We'd always wondered whether the phone sanitisation industry was a figment of Adams' imagination or not. Now that we know the terrible truth of Reg readers' toilet-based communications, we're going to get the phone sanitisers down to Vulture Central pronto. ®