“Some people like to be all alone, sitting half-naked up on the throne. Personally that don’t work for me, ’cause it smells like the poo-poo that just came from me.” When vlogger Ze Frank sang this in 2006, I found his argument compelling: Who wants to spend more time on the toilet?
It’s the least pleasant seat in the house, and sitting there too long can cause hemorrhoids and other painful butt problems. We try to mitigate the unpleasantness, and that’s the problem. Going poop should be less fun.
I do like a comfortable toilet. I recently went to Japan to try out Toto’s bum-washing, seat-warming, noise-masking, scent-spraying models. And like everyone else, I tend to read my phone on the toilet.
But that’s the problem. We shouldn’t be treating toilet time as something to improve, but something to shorten. We should be focusing on getting in and out as quickly as possible. And that’s why we should not turn the lights on when we go poop.
Wired makes a great, if hammy, case for pooping in the dark. But beneath all the rhapsodizing about pooping like our ancestors, there’s a simple argument: if you poop in the dark, you’re less likely to linger. If you don’t linger, you won’t read your phone, and you won’t get as many hemorrhoids or anal tearing. And you will spend more of your life outside the bathroom.
You can see your phone in the dark, of course—hopefully see it so brightly that you put it back in your pocket. You’ll still have to work on that self-control, and ideally leave your phone entirely outside the bathroom. All the better to make you rush out of there as soon as possible.