B Reading in the gym is a sacred, time-honored tradition. Toilet literary entertainment has been a mainstay in homes for thousands of years: The ancient Romans kept libraries in their shared bathrooms, ie. and in the 18th century, Philip Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, wrote that someone he knew was "such a good manager of his day that he would not even lose that small part of him that the call of nature obliged him to go to the necessary house, but gradually passed through all the Latin poets at these moments. "(I highly recommend this excellent piece from 2006 in the New York Times about the history of reading in the bathroom ̵
Today, the phenomenon has expanded to include not only time consuming cracking activity, but also a fast pissing urinal. Since I have never used a urinal, I do not know firsthand about behavior, but male sources have informed me that looking at a glowing screen while standing in one is a growing trend.
"I have a nervous bladder."  But the number one is, of course, faster than the number two. Drinking takes an average of 21 seconds for all mammals, from elephant to mouse. This is hardly enough time to read the entire email, let alone respond to a text message, theoretically with one hand. So, what drives these dudes to kill their iPhones before they do their business?
Anxiety, as it turns out, is a great cause.
Such is the case with Travis, a Las Vegas-based video editor who only asked for his first name to be used because of the sensitivity of the topic. "I have really bad anxiety in the public restroom, so sometimes I have to do this to redirect my brain and make it peek at me when there are other people around," he says. "It's usually quite effective, especially if other things are happening in the toilet. It's not like a magic cure, but it definitely helps. "
" I have a nervous bladder. Reddit / my phone provides the perfect distraction to help me go a little faster, "one reddit user wrote in a topic on the topic.
Obviously, this is a relatively common tactic for people with "paresis" or what can be more easily understood as "shy bladder syndrome." There are very few studies on the condition – making it difficult or impossible for people to pee in certain situations – and much of what we know about it is based on case studies and anecdotes. Sometimes discussed in subreddit paruresis, where sufferers go to commiserate. "Using my phone is a good distraction to help with peeing, does anyone else count on it?" Asked u / dannyboy211098 in a post earlier this year. "I'm worried now that I literally can't do without my phone, which is scary when there are situations where I can't turn social media as a distraction."
I can absolutely relate to that; as a sufferer of intense generalized and social anxiety disorder, it is likely that, by accident, I saw at a party that I would be deep in the nose on Instagram. While using your phone to reduce accidental stress, it may be helpful, depending on it, to move to anxiety-causing tasks – such as socializing or peeing – is not a healthy long-term habit.
"Using your smartphone is more like a crutch, Distraction Techniques like this can be useful to help one escape from immediate anxiety at the moment, and in this case possibly allow them to urinate successfully," says David Shanley, a Denver psychologist who treats paresis. "However, he is not dealing with the problem; he is a side step to the problem."
Shanley recommends an "exposure method" – and no, not this type of exposure. Rather, if pissing in public bothers you, handle it. Leave your phone behind you and allow yourself to stare at the empty wall in front of you until you finally free yourself. According to Chanley, this is not the fastest way to use the toilet, but it is a faster and more efficient way of dealing with the problem as a whole.
Much of the time, though, it's not that the urinal user. there is a problem with peeing effortlessly – that is, they are addicted to their phones and cannot pull their eyes off the screen for even a second. This "addiction", in turn, causes even more anxiety, as some users of urinal phones are ashamed of their habit.
Alan, an engineer based in Massachusetts, says he uses his urinal phone, though he knows "it's awkward. "When I ask him what he feels is bothering him, he says it is because it illustrates his bigger problem with phone addiction. "I suspect that my addiction is related to wider anxiety problems," he tells me. "I honestly use my phone as an avenue for personal validation, so I can't use it to get a quick hit from Instagram or Twitter."
Jonathan Hamilton, who is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and runs a fun block list, says its use of the urinal phone is relatively recent. "I have to say I didn't start last year and had a smartphone since 2009," he says. "I don't know what's changed except being more active on Twitter."
Anecdotally, there is something like this: When I have Twitter on my phone, it's much more likely to watch it constantly than when there is only Instagram . Obviously, social media is designed to form habits, though scientists are still arguing about how "addictive" or harmful it is. Still, there's no doubt that it can certainly feel this way when we can't even leave our phones long enough for a 21-second spike. And that in turn can lead to some pretty fun scenarios.
"Send texts to the urinal? Really, dude? "
" I'm bad with my phone and I take a lot of random screenshots, which picks up the noise from the camera, "says Sean, a video producer in New York who also asked to use his name alone," I had more than one horror an incident where someone else liked washing their hands and had to think I had a drink. Sometimes when someone comes in, I quickly put my phone down, which looks worse. "
Andrew, a" tech brother but one of the good ones, "based in San Francisco, says that once someone commented on using his phone with a urinal – his boss. "Urinal text messages? Really, dude? "This is what Andrew tells me the boss told him. "He is the only person who can get out. Because to say that something would violate the iron law of the men's room, which should never be spoken. "
For Aaron, a New York-based designer, the whole practice is just disgusting, which is why he's so ashamed to do it," You're standing side by side with another person, peeing spray and misting in the air. And while this is happening, you are holding on to your $ 649 smartphone with a fabric pouch (!) To take out during dinner. "(Aaron has a Pixel phone that comes with a cloth case.)" I have no idea why Google's official Pixel case is a fabric, but it feels like a sponge sponge. ”
Quinn Myers, in a piece for the Dollar Shave Club, wrote a fantastic urinal user protection. As a woman who does not use urinals, my opinion on the matter may not be as valuable as his, but even so, I must say that I disagree. Because it seems to me that if you use a urinal mobile phone:
- Potentially aggravates paresis or shy bladder
- Contributes to smartphone addiction
- It is disgusting because of germs
- It knocks out other people
to leave your phone behind, or at least in your pocket, when you are at the urinal. These Slack messages or amazing Twitter thread can wait 21 seconds. You may find the void on the wall in front of you mentally refreshing. Your mind can use rest!