The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

automatic bathrooms do more harm than good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 977 times Debate No: 32784
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




So I chose this debate to be only two rounds, because 3 seems long, and I mean this to be more of a casual debate anyway. But let me briefly explain what I mean by "Automatic" bathrooms.

I am sure a lot of people can relate, when they say automatic bathrooms are annoying!
But if they are so annoying, shouldn't there be some sort of benefit to having them?

I will touch on how they DO NOT benefit people.

In this debate, I will talk about automatic: Toilets, paper towel dispensers, hand dryers, and sinks.

Argument 1: Toilets.

There are plenty of reasons these types of automatic flushing toilets are a negative.

They have a sensor, to flush automatically when they notice movement away from a person. These are meant to save people from flushing too much, and wasting water. However the problem is, that they have the opposite effect.
Everytime someone moves to stand up so they can wipe, the flush will go off once or twice before someone is even done! The most this does, is prevent clogging. But besides the fact that it is annoying to listen to the toilet go off like 4 times before your completely done, you also have that awkward moment when the person in the next stall is probably think your taking 4-5 poops and is wondering what in the heck you had for dinner!
In the end you waste water, and risk major awkwardness in the bathroom.

Argument 2: Paper towel dispensers.

These are probably the most annoying thing about automatic bathrooms. You have wet hands, and your desperate to get them dry. You wave your hand in front of the motion detector, and are lucky if it even reads the movement! And when it does, it gives you a sheet an inch long sheet that barely suffices to dry a pinky finger! And then when you move your hand in front of the dang thing to get some more, it detests because it already gave you some. Does it really save on that much paper to make having these machines neccesary? Would the owners of the company rather have their costumers have soaking hands walk through their store/restaruant?

Argument 3: Hand dryers

Same as the paper towels, the air comes out shortly, and goes away before your hands are completely dry. It is a nuisance, and you have to wave your hands in front of it like crazy just to get the thing going. You end up looking like a nut job in public. Just another negative to add to the list.

Argument 4: Sinks

Again, you wave your hand in front of the motion detector hectically, with soapy hands, to get 3 and a half seconds worth of water. Your hands have buds of soap and you may be in a hurry, but the water refuses to stay on for more than a few seconds, completely dragging on your time, and anxiety. People are very likely to have an aneurysm as a result of this.

Argument 5: Not cost effective

These automatic dispensers are completely expensive, and end up not saving very much money in return. They are annoying, and a detterent for customers to come to use the companies business. In the link above, I have provided some examples of how much these types of automatic functions can cost.

This debate is obviously meant as a bit of a joke debate, but it has a hint of seriousness to it. Please accept only if you have a little bit of a sense of humor.

Thanks! :)


Okay. Let me just clarify that I get annoyed at these "automatics" often enough. Altogether though, I think that they are definitely worth it in the long run.


Automatically flushing toilets do more than simply prevent water wastage. Picture this: A filthy stranger has just finished defecating. He/she stands up, (this is NOT an automatic toilet), and reaches over with his/her dripping hand. He/she wraps his/her hand, (which by now is awash with bacteria), around the handle of the toilet, activating the flush. A mere ten minutes later, an unsuspecting, ordinary person saunters into the public bathroom. That person is you. You peer into one of the stalls. The stall happens to be the one which the filthy stranger has recently exited. "Gosh, am I glad this bathroom isn't one of those "automatic" ones," you say with relief. You complete your duty and reach over to flush the toilet. Countless invisible germs transfer themselves from the handle to your very own hand.

Sinks: (same scenario)

You head over to the sink to attempt to rinse off those germs which you know nothing about. You press the very button which the filthy stranger had pressed to get the water going. "Boy, am I glad this sink is so easy to turn on," you grin at the uninterested stranger washing his hands in the sink next to you. The uninterested stranger nods warily and quickly leaves the bathroom. You never see him again. (Proving any embarrassment you said that you experience due to automatic bathrooms, ridiculous.) Meanwhile the water has turned off. You jam your hand against the button a dozen times. (Germs, germs, germs!)

Paper towel dispensers: (not same scenario)

To quote your first annoyance about paper towel dispensers, "you have wet hands, and YOUR (it's supposed to be YOU'RE) desperate to get them dry." The point of automatic paper towel dispensers is that you OBVIOUSLY have wet hands, that is why you do not want to be bothered to touch a (probably already wet) handle causing it to become even more wet. You would want to be able to wave your dripping hand, without needing to touch anything, and receive your paper towels. In addition, if you do not receive the amount of paper towel sufficient to dry your hands, simply wave your hand again. (It isn't that difficult.) I have also never heard of a dispenser refusing to provide more paper towels because you have already received your ration. I didn't know those dispensers put that much thought into it.

I happen to agree with you concerning hand dryers and cost, but that is not enough to outweigh the benefits of automatic bathrooms.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the acceptance!

Toilets and sinks:

My opponent makes an argument that when you flush the toilet, you are gaining countless germs. While this is true, let me explain how this doesn't matter. In automatic toilet situation we are still touching the following.

1. The toilet paper role (not to mention your going to be sticking your fingers and a wad of paper up your you know where!)
2. The door handle on the way out of the bathroom still.
3. The door handle on the way out.

So while you touch a couple more objects than you normally would have to, it basically becomes irrelevant anyway. In both situations you still have to wash your hands before leaving, so you leave the bathroom clean as you would have if you were to have full on touched a persons defacation.

However, automatic bathrooms themselves, are a deterrent to people washing their hands in the first place. If someone is in a hurry, notices they have to deal with the annoying sink that's going to give them an ounce of water before shutting off, they might just more easily say "screw this!" and head out the bathroom before even washing their hands.

Paper Towel Dispenser:

Concerning the paper towel dispenser not putting much thought into how much towelage they ration you; you would almost think it has a mind of its own they way they give you literally no towels when dispensing. Sometimes reading the motion doesn't go through easily at all. Meanwhile your hands are dripping wet all over the floor, causing a potential slip and fall hazard. You desperately want to dry your hands, but the dang machine won't give. At this point you wouldn't even mind touching a wet handle to get you out of this awkward situation, as an impatient line accrues behind you, all with hands just as wet as yours. You ration with yourself "It couldn't be that bad to touch the handle, right? I mean the person before me washed his hands too!". But the option still isn't available. Desperately, you try to manually pull the towel out of the dispenser after a tad bit is sticking out. It rips, and your now saying to yourself "Screw this, I'll use my pants" Resulting in you using a less sanitary, and more redudant hand drying method.

I would have argue your statement of it not being so difficult, not always being true. Sometimes yes, but bathrooms that are used more frequently than others, tend to have the equipment in them worn down, making these motion detectors harder to read. Should bathrooms invest the money into replacing all these expensive equipment costs, or should they just make it simple, and bring back all the manual stuff?

I thank my opponent for fun arguments, and a fun debate, and wish him luck!

Vote Pro, because a world without automatic bathrooms, is a better world for everyone. :)


iamrightyouarewrong forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RocketEngineer 4 years ago
thats why you wash your hands everytime you use the toilet. Also I have been touching stuff for years and am just fine. I am sure there are a lot more stuff we touch daily that are just as harmful as toilet handles are.
Posted by Skeptikitten 4 years ago
As a microbiologist, trust me when I say you do NOT want to see what grows on faucet handles, toilet flush handles, and worst of all paper towel dispenser handles. Oogie (a highly technical term).

Give me the irritation of an automatic bathroom any day.
Posted by MassiveDump 4 years ago
Automatic flushers freaking scare me.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Subutai 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.