Threat No. 2: Hemorrhoids and other toilet-related ailments
For many, the toilet is a retreat, a time of quiet sanctuary from your your job, roommates, or children. Throughout modern history, many have opted to prolong and luxuriate in this solitude with a little reading material, be it a magazine, newspaper, or book. But even Infinite Jest has a finite amount of text: A phone brings you that and every magazine, book, and social media outlet to skim, time-suck games, and video rabbit holes to go down -- all in one easy-to-conceal, pocket-sized container. By removing the prohibitive social stigma of being seen entering a workplace bathroom with a paper tucked under your arm, there are more incentives than ever to dangerously extend your toilet visit and tempt rectal fate.
"When you stay on the toilet for upwards of 20, 30, 40 minutes, you're putting unnecessary pressure on the rectum, [which] can cause hemorrhoids, and definitely make any pre-existing hemorrhoids way worse," said Dr. Partha Nandi, the creator and host of the Emmy-award winning, gastro-centric show, Ask Dr. Nandi. "By prolonging this pressure on the rectum, you can exacerbate gastrointestinal issues, and a problem that is moderate, like going too much or too little, can become very severe. Really, you want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. When you just sit there after you're done, being sucked into your phone, that becomes a problem." Not only that, said Nandi, but the awkward and uncomfortable position of sitting on the toilet can exacerbate nerve and hip problems.