Pet Peeve: Can You Hear Me Now?

Cell phones—astounding technology that we did live without at one point but now seem to be constantly attached to.

Cell phones—astounding technology that we did live without at one point but now seem to be constantly attached to. I have many pet peeves when it comes to cell phones. But today, I’m focusing on one in particular: public cell phone conversations.

I’m all for using your cell phone—that’s what they’re there for. But those public cell phone conversations in a place where I’m trapped drive me crazy.

When I’m on the train, for example, in the “Quiet Car,” and Joe Moe is talking on his cell phone at an extremely loud volume. Joe has a contracting gig and the painter didn’t show up and he hates that guy anyway and what the hell, blah, blah, blah. I don’t want to hear it.

Or when I am at the gym on the elliptical and some guy next to me is panting, huffing, and puffing all while talking loudly on his cell phone. I’d hate to be the person on the other end . . . well, unless, maybe he’s making a crank phone call. Well, either way, I don’t want to be on the other end of that call. Or next to it.

Don’t even get me started on people who use their cell phones in stores, talking about nothing at a loud volume. “Oh my god, I was so wasted last night. I didn’t wake up until noon and then I was so thirsty I had to drink water, blah, blah, blah.” Really? I don’t give a flying flip. And do you think the person on the other end of the phone actually cares? NO. The whole store now knows you got wasted. Good for you!

And how about the person talking on the cell phone while the cashier is ringing her up trying to get her attention because her credit card has been declined but she is yapping away. First, that’s just plain rude. This person is waiting on you. Don’t ignore this person. Second, you’re holding up the line. And finally, your credit card just got declined. Maybe you should be dealing with that rather than telling your friend that like so-and-so said this, and so you said that, and then she said something else.

I know we have conversations in public, but those are two people having a conversation. This one-way thing is annoying . . . and loud. Besides, brain research has shown that part of the reason these one-way conversations are annoying to other people is that we only hear one side of the conversation, so our brain naturally tries to fill in the rest of the conversation. Thus, we lose our focus and concentration.

Hey, if brain research is what it takes to get my point across, I’ll use it. Enough with the loud, endless cell phone conversations in public. Take some time to connect in person or just enjoy the silence.

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