When Private Conversations Are Thrust Upon You

from the learning-about-your-neighbors dept

Having just taken a cross-country flight a few days ago, I definitely noticed the growing trend of “wheels down, cell phones up” described in this article decrying the fact that private conversations are now quite public. It seemed like almost everyone on the plane pulled out a phone as soon as we landed. Admittedly, I was no exception, but I only checked voicemail and email messages while waiting for the plane to clear out. I didn’t make a phone call until I was safely in the terminal and could find a quiet corner to hide in, while checking to make sure my ride was on its way. So many people seem to forget when they’re on the phone that others around them really don’t care about the private aspects of the conversation they’re having. The article notes that it’s sort of the reverse problem of protecting your own privacy. Instead, you get the private lives of others thrust upon you by everyone around you chatting away on their mobile phones. It’s really not that difficult to find a somewhat more private place to go if you really need to discuss something privately.

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Comments on “When Private Conversations Are Thrust Upon You”

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Andrew Klossner says:

No Subject Given

Same old question: how is this different from two people in the next row having that same private conversation? Clearly it’s not the words themselves that are bothering you, so what is it?

I think you go nuts because you hear only *half* of a private conversation. As a society, we need to get over this.

Anonymous Coward says:


Back in the day, Bell (and company) had to figure out how to keep people from YELLING into their phones — the stronger signal would damage their equipment. Their solution: pipe some of the customer’s voice back into their own earpiece. People yell because they hear themselves less than they’re accustomed to when they don’t have a piece of plastic shoved up to their ear. (This is one reason why people with hearing loss often talk louder than they need to.) CELL PHONE MAKERS need to put SIDETONE in MORE OF THEIR PHONES, and then PEOPLE WILL YELL INTO THEIR CELL PHONES LESS.
[wait, why is everyone on the plane looking at me?]

Rootman says:

Not the same situation but funny.

Once while visiting the cinema there was a dude in one of the stalls screaming at a business associate over the cell phone. Not just the normal cell phone shout, this guy was venting, actually SCREAMING!
They guy in the next stall had enough of it and kicked the stall door and screamed back to shut up. The guy next to me in the next urinal joined in harrasing the guy, in a ‘mob moment’ we all joined in yelling at the guy and banging the stall doors and walls loud enough so his caller could hear; “Hey does he know you’re taking a dump while you’re calling him?”, “Hey dumba$$, some of us are actually trying to concentrate!”. Suddenly, every stall flushed almost at once. The redfaced dude stumbled out and ran out of the restroom – kinda creepy that he didn’t even wash his hands.
We were all pretty satisfied that we had evicted the nuisance and everyone smiled, chuckled and nodded as we left, satisfied that at least this bastion of ‘non cell phoneism’ was again preserved.

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