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.
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.