Study: 19 percent of people drop phones down toilet

A study by online address-book site Plaxo suggests that nearly 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their phones into the loo, thus losing all their contacts. (And their pride.)

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Does the world have a problem with coordination? Is the increased level of drug ingestion causing people to lose their grip on the things that are most precious to them?

This certainly seems to be the case when one reads a blood-freezing piece of, no doubt, statistically pure analysis commissioned by online address-book site Plaxo.

As MSNBC tells it, Plaxo's research stunningly reveals not only people's utter incompetence in looking after their smartphones but also their desperate need for, well, Plaxo.

Allegedly, 19 percent of people drop their smartphones down the toilet. Please consider that for a moment. In the average family of five, it is likely that one of them has taken his or her smartphone into the bathroom and then, for reasons that would surely cause ordinary minds to boggle without pause, allowed it to slip into the watery beyond.

Some of these people will have not backed up their data, hence the great indispensability of Plaxo. But, wait. Just how common is this smartphone-in-toilet thing?

In one sense, clearly, frightfully common. In the sense of "ordinary, normal behavior," well, yes, there was that incident in China not so long ago when a man got stuck trying to get his phone out of the toilet. There was also that Windows 7 ad in which a man retrieves his cell phone from the stand-up pissoir, having dropped it while trying to do two things at once.

But it was Google that explained to us just how common it all was, in a study that suggested 39 percent of people take their smartphones with them into the loo.

It was when I read these results that I realized it was time to say farewell to humanity's development. If 39 percent of people take their phones into the toilet and 19 percent of people drop them into the blue yonder, then almost half the people who take their phones into the toilet end up dropping them into the toilet.

How can we possibly imagine we will solve the slipping away of the debt-ceiling if we can't even prevent a small gadget from slipping through our fingers and sploshing into uselessness?

Will someone soon invent the nonslip smartphone? Or would that be a little too utilitarian and a little too late?