Sound, Fury And Cellphone Users

from the make-'em-shut-up dept

As airlines are increasingly moving towards allowing people to make mobile phone calls on flights, down on the ground, there’s increasing anger over those who use mobile phones on trains. Amtrak has even set up a “quiet car”, for those who’d rather not have to listen to mobile phone conversations. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the rules in the quiet car – which has turned it into an angry mess on more than one occasion (with at least one story of a smashed phone). What’s a little scary is just how opinionated people are on the subject – and how little room either side is willing to give. You would think that those who want to talk on their mobile phones would at least be willing to let the non-talkers have a “quiet car” – but even the existence of the quiet car seems contentious among them.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Sound, Fury And Cellphone Users”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
gravy says:

Re: Reflection on the populace...

Yes, I agree totally Adi.

This is not a technology issue, it’s a broad sense of every man/woman for his/herself. The phone cannot offend without human intervention, it is a lifeless piece of silicon.

Nobody gives a darn about anyone else, not even family these days.

This is one reason I have for hating our own people as a whole, although you can find decent people out there, just can’t see them for the A-holes.

I am ashamed of the people who call themselves Americans and do these things.

Eric says:

How this problem was solved in Australia

We had this problem about 5 years ago in Australia. It isn’t a problem anymore.

The answer was better mobile phone networks. Now that people don’t have to shout, they just talk in a normal voice. Which is fine.

These days we have video mobiles. These aren’t a problem, except that they are big and ugly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Can we make megaphones?

Since 80s looks are back in, can we make cell phones that look like shoulder-mounted ghetto blasters? It could play deafening rap music whenever the phone rings, then the whole world can hear the conversation. I miss the megaphones of the 80s that blared tunes for Asian tourists playing follow-the-leader.

Lyndon says:


I see this as a logical extention on the “war on smoking”. Since some intollerant people see it as a threat to *their enjoyment*, it cannot be allowed.

“Second-hand smoke” health effects allowed a flood gate to burst. I do not deny there are health effects, but, really, compared to the high carb/sugar food we eat, the way we drive, and the jobs we put up with, we are more likely to die of somehing else.

Anyhow, expect the Facism to continue. For my part, I let others do what they want unless it effects my Rights. Maybe the problem is that too many people don’t know what their rights are? They think priviledges are rights? Or are they just selfish and mean? 😉

Adi says:

Re: introspection

This is an interesting one. To smokers, smoking does seem like such a natural activity, However, To non-smokers like me, It is a very disturbing one. But since it is a matter of personal choice, I think smokers should avoid putting others in problem. They dont have to be an inconvenience to the rest of the public!!

Maybe I am being too strong… ( I am strictly an Anti-Smoking person, and if I had it my way, noone would smoke ) But I do think it is incosiderate to smoke in a position where others are being troubled.

thecaptain says:

Re: introspection


I’ll make you a deal, the day you can smoke a cigarette while keeping every bit of smoke inside your lungs, you’ll be able to smoke anywhere you want to.

I’m not a smoker, I’m not militant, but it IS a courtesy issue, just like the cellphone…smoke bothers some people so if you’re courteous you find some place to do it where people won’t be bothered by you…simple no? But you seem to have this attitude that YOU should have the right to push YOUR habits on me?

My not smoking does not affect you in any way…you smoking would affect all of those around you…there’s the difference…no fascism there.

Its sad that this would have to be explained to you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Works in Japan...

My experience in Japan is that the “no cell phone” use is generally accepted and followed. If someone gets a call while on the train/shinkanzen they usually cup their hand while rushing to one of the areas between cars where it is okay.

(Side note, one day I was commuting in Tokyo on the subway and had a Starbucks coffee which I was really enjoying and saw quite a few people stare or frown at me – it wasn’t until I was off the train that I realized that the subway was “no drinking”, so I studiously finished my coffee from then on before commuting and wasn’t the rude American from then on).

Since peer pressure (staring, frowning) works in Japan, and not the US, we would need some sort of enforcement action for talking in the quiet car – monetary penalty, etc. Or have people on the quiet car pay a little more for the “service” and kick people out who violate it. Just having the higher cost would probably discourage those who would ignore it.

LittleW0lf says:

No problem here...

I am not sure what the problem is, as I love listening to other people broadcast their conversations to the group. After all, where do you think I get my best data for social engineering from?

It is amazing what people will say on a cell phone in a crowded airplane or train, I listened to a woman on a cross-country flight disclose her userid, password, and ip address and some very sensitive financial and medical information. She sat and blerted the information out for all to hear.

And the airplane or train is not the only place…my favorite place to listen for sensitive information is at the airport itself. People sitting waiting for flights tend to carry on as if they are in their own private vaccuum, broadcasting sensitive information with no thought of the consequences. And when you happen to point this out to them, they become livid because you are “illegally” listening to their private conversation, like you have the power to tune them out.

It is a good thing I work for the good guys, but I bet it is safe to say that there are plenty of bad guys out there doing the same.

ROYGBIVis says:

Having fun with rude cell phone users ...

I too enjoy the auditory ramblings of cell phone users who seem to think they are in a void while using them … one of my favorite things to do is listen to the conversation for a bit and than interject with a comment regarding their conversation that floors the rude cell phone user … Example: Exclaim loudly ” Stop grabing my crotch ! ” … believe me, it sure gives the flustered rude cell phone user something to try to explain to the caller on the other end … but then again, I am an avid cell phone user myself … I’ve just learned that I don’t have to take calls in rest, theaters & other places where its inappropriate … thats why I have Voice Hell & a vibrating ringer … absolutely NO interrupts ands I can return the call when I properly excuse myself to find a private place to return the call …
Oh, I forgot, I’m an American … I’m not supposed to understand courtesy !

gravy says:

Re: Having fun with rude cell phone users ...

“I am ashamed of the people who call themselves Americans and do these things.”

note it says the people, that is not an all inclusive phrase, that was only directed at “the people who do these things”, like being a rude freakin’ jacka$$, and having no idea what common courtesy is, and no desire to better themselves, may all who fit the description die alone with a cell phone stuck to you ear

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...