LifePet PeevesTech & The Web

Is Your Device’s Volume Speaking Volumes About You?

Once in a while, I like to work on blog posts over lunch.

I decided to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, a Japanese restaurant that has fantastic hibachi dishes. While I dined, I couldn’t help but notice a young couple a few tables away whose attention remained focused on an iPad.

It was something we had in common. I wrote this post on my own iPad while I ate.  But no one could possibly have been disturbed by what I was doing. I was quiet.

They weren’t.

In fact, for most of the time they were there, they watched a loud internet video featuring a loud, shrill voice. I don’t know if it was a child or a cartoon character. But they watched multiple clips that carried this sound.

It was distracting, to say the least.

And I couldn’t help but think it was pretty rude, too. At least, it would feel rude to me if I were going to do the same thing.

I’m not sure why so many people seem to operate as if there’s no one else around them.  Nearly every time I set foot in a grocery store, someone nearly runs into me with their shopping cart because they aren’t paying attention. I want to ask them why they walk around without considering that there are others around.

I wanted to ask these people why it obviously didn’t occur to them that fellow diners — a few were much closer to them than I was — might not want to listen to what they were listening to. Headphones would have solved the problem nicely. They could have even each taken an earbud and heard it fully without bothering those around them.

Maybe, as I ponder how insensitive their actions seemed, I could likewise wonder if I’m too sensitive to other people’s feelings.

Given a choice, though, I’d rather err on my side than theirs.

Your Turn:

Have you ever asked someone to lower the volume on a device in a public place? How did they respond?


  1. I’ve never asked anyone to pipe it down. I’d rather suffer a few minutes of noise than be “that guy”.
    I am not at all comfortable talking on the phone in a public place. If I am listening to music on my phone or my iPod, I make sure to keep it down low enough that people around me can’t hear it, although I do already use earbuds. It’s not that I don’t want to annoy others, it’s just that what I listen to or whom I talk to and about what is not any of their concern. I’m not even all that comfortable answering my cell in the company of my own family. It just feels awkward.

  2. No you are not too sensitive. It is just common courtesy for other around you.
    Yesterday morning I was walking in the park and this woman was a few paces behind me and she was talking on the phone. It must have been to a boyfriend because it was a very personal conversation. When I looked over my shoulder and gave her a look of annoyance, she gave me a look of mind your own business.

  3. I’ve never asked anyone to turn down their volume but I’ve wanted to!  I generally have my volume way down or wear headphones so as not to disturb others.  I even do this at work.

    1.  @Cathryn (aka Strange) I don’t have headphones at work, but I have my own edit bay, so I can close the door and not disturb my co-workers.
      When I work in my office, which I share with another co-worker, I try not to play anything very loud at all, but then he does the exact same way, so we look out for each other’s sanity that way! 🙂

  4. I’ve never asked anyone to turn down their volume but I’ve wanted to!  I generally have my volume way down or wear headphones so as not to disturb others.  I even do this at work.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.