In the midst of their normal research on how much people use Twitter and Facebook while watching TV (a lot, unfortunately for everyone with a newsfeed full of fucking armchair critics), Nielsen has unwittingly exposed a big, weird factoid about our nation’s youth. Namely, that at least a third of people 18-24 are totally cool tweeting while pooping.
Is this who we are now? Should we just accept this new mode of life? Will this trend soon make a terrible transition into the world of selfies and Instagram? As I see it, there are some pros and cons.
I mean, like most 25-year-olds, I definitely tend to ask myself, “Is Arianna Huffington down?” before deciding to participate in any trend, and as we all know, the woman is a true pioneer when it comes to normalizing cell phone use in the bathroom. But then again, I’m actually too old to fit into this bold new demographic, so I guess that opinion is irrelevant and I can just be put out to pasture with all the other withering souls who have ceased being useful on this earth.
But, aside from make me feel terrible and ancient, the only truly concrete “cons” here are potential sanitation issues and internal shame, which can be easily solved by Clorox wipes and a free-spirited, devil-may-care attitude, respectively. And really, in a way, this is actually a step forward, since social networking in this context is much lower stakes than an IRL phone call (how quaint), where, you know, people can actually hear things. Things in the bathroom.
So yes, we will, in fact, be moving forward with this new social norm, which begs the question, what else can we get away with? Social networking while eating is obviously old hat and already sort of played out, but what about other times, like job interviews, or sex? Couldn’t this ostensibly serve as a totally solid power play to let the other person know exactly where they stand in your hierarchy of priorities and encourage them to work harder to impress you? Maybe the youths are really onto something, after all.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.