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Speakerphones in Public? Where are Their Manners?!

A man using his smartphone at a coffee shopDeposit Photos

I’ve lost count of how many people I now see walking around having conversations on speakerphones in public! What happened to etiquette?

We’ve all seen it happen. You walk through the grocery store or a department store or a mall. You see people carrying on full conversations on their speakerphones in public.

There was a time — and it wasn’t that long ago — that people at least had the decency to use earphones. Remember those little earpieces that clipped over one ear? People used to treat those silly little things as status symbols. I imagine they felt super-important if they walked around wearing one.

Then we had wireless earbuds that let you not only enjoy a conversation but your music in stereo. And you don’t have to worry about a cable tangling on something.

But as USA Today recently pointed out, it seems as if everyone just stopped using any kind of headphone in public.

It might be one thing if the conversations we’re now forced to listen to were the least bit interesting. But most aren’t. At all.

What’s worse, these offenders hold their phone out in front of their face as if they’re on a video call. But when they pass by, you can see their screen and there’s no video call. It almost looks like they’re holding the phone out where the other person’s face could be — then aren’t on a video call where they can see it. (So why hold it out like that to begin with?!)

The USA Today article interviewed a professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University for their article. She said we’re obsessed with our phones and more self-focused. That’s a nice way of saying we’re becoming selfish jerks in public.

Maybe we need to think before we pick up that pesky little phone: Can this conversation wait? Can it possibly be private? And most importantly, where are those damned earbuds?

Spoiler alert: The rest of us don’t care to hear your conversation. Their side of it or yours!

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 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.

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