Ah cellphones, they have changed our lives for the better in so many ways. But just like any social device it has its… moments. It is of no fault of the phone itself, but the one who is holding said phone. We here at TheBlueDot may sell cellphones, but we have witnessed some of the worst, or annoying, cellphone habits just like you have. Here are some of our top most annoying habits, in no particular order. We already did a similar article on phone habits, but this one is specifically asked around by staffers.
The Rude Movies
Everyone has been in a movie theater some time in their lives, and there is a good chance you have been in at least one with someone who answered their phone while the movie is playing. Not only is this rude because of the sound, but the sudden flash of light from their screen can be blinding in a room that can be so dark. They don’t always get a phone call either, sometimes there are the texters who hold their phone up to head height so everyone behind them gets a nice bright light in their face. The solution? Well, if it’s you, just put your phone on silent and answer the calls outside if you’re expecting something very important. Or, if it’s a text, hold it low to your lap and cover it almost entirely with your hand so only your face gets the light. If it’s important you can leave and text/call the person outside, or simply ignore it. If it’s someone else, either ask them nicely to stop, or get an usher.
I used to take public transit everyday to get into work and there was a 50/50 chance that someone would have music blaring on their cellphone at full blast. I love music, but not all cellphone speakers were created equal. Some cellphones are not built to blast music out of anything except headphones, so the music comes out distorted or hardly recognizable as music. The mass transit here in Philadelphia has a rule that no music can be playing on anyone’s device. The obvious solutions are either ask the person to turn it down (which in some cases you probably don’t want to do), or ask the transit operator to tell them to turn it off. If you’re stuck on a subway though… you may just have to tough it out. One solution, if you’re feeling brave, is to turn your own music on, but make it classical orchestral music. That music is a bit more pleasing, and, it may embarrass the other person to turn theirs off… But again, only do that if you’re feeling particularly brave.
Lost Call Shouters
I am techie kind of guy, but I don’t know everything about technology. One thing I do know is that screaming louder into a call you’re losing doesn’t make the signal go out any stronger. If anything it makes you even less understandable on the other end. I have seen countless people attempt to make, or take, calls in the subway where signal strength is weak or non-existent and almost every time the person yells louder and louder. I just want to sit them down and try to explain how technology doesn’t work like that. If someone builds a brick wall in front of me while I am playing catch with a friend, it doesn’t matter how hard I throw that ball, it isn’t going anywhere. The solution to such an event is kind of awkward, if it’s someone else you may just want to let it go. That person will probably already be frustrated, don’t give them a target for their frustrations. If it’s you, just be aware of the volume of your voice and remember that shouting won’t help. You may as well drop the call and contact the person as soon as you leave the low signal area.
Driving their car, taking orders at a restaurant, or simply walking down the street. Some people are great at doing more than one thing at a time, but some folks just have no business attempting such a feat. I don’t even need to go into driving, because that is illegal for good reason. Taking orders at any establishment is just rude to the people behind you and your server. Some establishments have rules where the server will ignore you until you hang up your phone, if I ever find a place with this rule I will go out of my way to go there. Some people can’t even handle walking down a street while on the phone, or worse yet, texting. When talking on the phone and walking at least you’re looking forward. Too many times have I seen someone texting and walking right out into a street while cars have the right of way. The solution is obvious, just step aside or pull over, and take your call/text then.
When push to talk phones were all the rage, when the “where you at” commercials were in full swing, the world was inundated with private conversations made public on distorted speakers. Not only is this rude in any instance, it is loud. In almost every encounter I had with people using those features they tended to yell into their phone, as if it wasn’t designed to pick up a normal human voice. The person talking back almost always comes in at full volume and, because of the high volume, completely distorted. We here at TheBlueDot love our push to talk phones, best used for construction work and outdoor activities. But when you’re on a subway, or even walking around in a small public place, it is inconsiderate of others around you. Most push to talk phones are also… phones, so in cases where you are walking around, just use it as a phone.
Private Conversations in Public
This is an obvious follow up to the push to talk phones. Some conversations, even just one side of that conversation, is best spoken in private. I don’t need to list some of the very conversations I have overheard on the Green Line Trolley, but I am sure you can imagine the colorful adventures I overheard. It may be best to hold private conversations privately when you aren’t surrounded by dozens of strangers. If you’re not the one having the private call, there isn’t much you can do. Cutting in will only make you look like someone who listens to others conversations (in some cases how can’t you overhear?) and will most likely piss off the caller. In this instance, just let that person continue to embarrass themselves. Though… sometimes these conversations are held in public bathroom stalls, in that case, depending on what you are doing, you can add your own background noise to their conversation. I heard bathroom stalls have great acoustics.
Bluetooth headsets are amazing, and we all know those guys and gals who have one in their ear all day everyday, even when not being used. I, and some here at TheBlueDot, have had moments where someone says hello in our direction and appear to be talking to us… but are actually talking on the phone. Bluetooth allows us to use both hands and talk at the same time, it’s one of the only safe ways to drive and talk on the phone at the same time. But while in public it can be a bit confusing for people around you without the obvious phone to your ear. The solution is, if you’re the Bluetooth wearer, is to move your hand to your ear and mimic the phone answering movement. You can appear to adjust your ear set in your ear, but that movement alone will probably be enough for everyone around you to know you’re not talking to them. If you’re the person who thinks that a stranger just said hello to you… I’m sorry for your embarrassment.
We actually had a couple others, but this is a blog article, not a novel. What are some of your experiences with annoying cell phone users? We’ll ask here, on our Facebook page and on Twitter to get your responses!