The Quantified Self… on the Toilet

Are you amongst the rising number of  toilet texters? According to the NY times, 75% of people take their phone into the loo with them: for those who are 28-35 years old, that figure rises to 91%. You can see the results plotted on Flowing data’s blog; apparently, if you own an Android phone, you’re even more likely to be sitting with your phone in your hand. And there’s not even that much of a gender gap!

I guess this is a stark reminder to clean your hands. And your phone (it could be a little bit dirty). But it’s also a time where (a) you’re likely to be alone, (b) what you’re doing is related to your health. So why not take a minute to track your habits? I’ve just built an Android app that lets you do just that.

The app is called The (Poo) Review (available here!). How does it work? Well, when you sit down, you click “Review.” The app then lets you anonymously rate your Quantity, Solidity, and Satisfaction. You can then pick your category from the well-known Bristol Stool Chart. Finally, you can select your current location and leave some final words. Then flush your review! You get back a little fact about your habits, as well as a “Did you know?” fact about the gastrointestinal system.

As you keep rating and reviewing, you build up your health profile. You can check out your 7-day daily average, where you go, when you go, and how you go. This is the quantified toilet self: a whole new level! Maybe Stephen Wolfram can add this to his host of personal analytics.

Of course, the modern day smartphone app is nothing without a bit of sharing. Want to share a review with your friend? You can send friend requests on the app by putting in your friends’ secret PIN. Where do you get it? Just ask them! The app does not ask you (ever) to log in to any kinds of social media or (ever ever!) take a photo. So want to give it a go?

My experience in telling people about the app (so far) has been quite distinct. Many people have told me it’s awesome and can’t wait to use it; they have even admitted to sharing poo reviews with their friends or loved ones regularly. Others have found the idea absolutely horrendous and disgusting, and don’t understand why anyone would ever partake in such atrocious behaviour.

Where do you stand? Try the Android app today.


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