How to Use Your Cell Phone in the Bathroom

Is watching a movie on your cell phone while in the stall acceptable?  Modern Manners Guy stumbles into a new breed of bad manners. 

Richie Frieman
2-minute read


There’s a very fine line between appropriate and “heck no!” when it comes to using your cell phone while going to the bathroom. The line is so thin, it almost disappears when you look closely at it, as was the case with the unmannerly behavior I witnessed the other day. 

I went to the restroom at my office, and while washing my hands, heard loud voices coming from one of the stalls. It turns out, someone was sitting on the toilet and watching what I assumed was an action movie, filled with curse words, screeching cars, and violent shootings. Not that listening to Mozart at full blast while going number two would be any better, but still, this person felt comfortable enough to watch his movie as if he was relaxing in his house. 

See Also: Toilet Talk

In case you're wondering, yes, this is disgusting. What you do in your home is your business, but when you decide to set up camp at a workplace – or a public – bathroom to watch a movie or listen to your recent playlist, you are violating all rules of mannerly behavior. It's not only rude – but pretty foul as well. Needless to say, I didn't stick around to see who the person was or what happened to the character in the movie who was apparently being held up and threatened at gunpoint. 

If you are using the bathroom and simply must use your cellphone as entertainment, don’t blast it. In fact, don’t turn up the volume at all. Put your phone on mute. Period. Smartphones nowadays allow us to surf the web anywhere, anytime, so there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself occupied. Read an article, check email, go on Twitter, find that lamp you’ve been eyeing on sale. Do whatever technological thing you need to do…as long as it's silent.

Oh, and lastly, always wash your hands! (Don't even get me started on that one).

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Image courtesy of Getty Images.

About the Author

Richie Frieman
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