Teens on the toilet taken to task over texting

Teenagers spend much longer on the loo every day than their elders because they’re multi-tasking in the toilet, according to new research from the AA as part of its State of the Nation’s Homes series of reports.

Typically youngsters aged 16 and 17 spend 43 per cent longer in the toilet – but more than half the time they spend there (58%) is wasted on ‘extra-curricular’ activities such as texting, using social networking sites or playing smartphone games.

The average teen toilet time for that age group is 22 mins 29 secs a day on the loo, compared to just 15 mins 46 secs for those aged 18 or over.

Sending or reading texts is the most popular peripheral pursuit, with 55 per cent of teenagers questioned claiming do this on the loo, compared to just 19 per cent of those aged 18 or above.

One third of them uses Facebook in the rest room, 25 per cent use YouTube or other video websites, and 23 per cent play games on their phone. A further one in 10 uses Twitter while in the lavatory.

But the traditional distraction of reading is still a popular toilet-time activity for the younger age group, with 27 per cent claiming to read a book and 18 per cent saying they read a magazine there.

The AA says that over the course of a year, these time-wasting teens lose more than three whole days on superfluous toilet distractions, compared to just 26 hours for those aged 65 and over.

The AA’s Tom Stringer said: “It’s clear that the supplementary pastimes people like to partake in on the loo are changing rapidly as new media and ever-more portable technological devices become more widespread.

“According to our research teenagers spend far more time on the toilet playing games and using social media than they do for their primary purpose.

“The book is far from dead as the traditional toilet pastime, however – a much greater proportion of teenagers tend to read a book on the loo than adults.”