Is this rude phone behavior, or am I too sensitive?

I drove my parents to a hospital today for a consultation, and had to wait two hours. So I found a rather quiet place besides the hospital with some benches, it was a beautiful late summer morning and I decided to wait there. During this, several people came and went and sat on the benches, some the whole time who were obviously also waiting on someone. Now some of them had calls on speakerphone, so that all people in the vicinity clearly could hear all their calls, and one guy even watched a TV show on full volume over the speaker, a silly show I must say that mostly consisted of laughter and giggles. I’m really not anti-smartphone, in fact it mostly bothered me because I was quietly browsing the Dope on my phone, but isn’t that antisocial behavior? I’m not bothered by people making calls on speakerphone walking in the street, but in a rest area near a hospital? This even isn’t a get-off-my-lawn matter, the worst offender was a guy about twenty years older than me.

So what say you?

Yes it’s rude.

And I’m pretty passive on this issue. Some guy sitting next to me on the bench talking on the phone through the ear piece, I don’t consider rude. But a loud speaker phone is a different story.

Yes it is.

The program, excuse me, TV SHOW watchers should use their damn earbuds. People who use speaker phone in public, especially whilst holding the phone like a serving tray, should have their phone rights taken away.

Solution: phone crash them.

Why, exactly, is an audible conversation where one person is talking from a distance through a device different or worse than an audible conversation where both people are physically present? Would you consider two people talking together in a rest area to be rude?

I agree. It’s rude.


A: it’s usually louder. The callers mostly scream into their phones when on speakerphone.

B: the sound over the speaker sounds tinny, shitty and annoying, like no natural voice.

If two people are conversing in person in a place where other people are all being quiet, they tend to keep their voices down. A person on the phone does not, and the person on the other end of the line (speaking through the loudspeaker) definitely does not.

I work from home now and there is a walking trail across the street that my window overlooks. There are many people walking alone, yet I can hear their damn phone conversations all the way over here. I feel like yelling out the window “INSIDE VOICE!”, like you would do for a toddler. Yes, blathering openly to the entire world your self-important phone call is rude. STFU!

Another thing that has emerged during the pandemic is people using Bluetooth speakers out in the open, like in their backpack while they are walking or hiking, and skiing. Especially annoying is people who use them on their bike (the speakers are about the size of a water bottle, so fit perfectly into water bottle cages on bikes). WTF? I have been saying to these people “EARBUDS!”.

Okay, so it is a half-deaf elderly couple and one is using an electrolarynx. Are they being rude?

No, not the evil, culture destroying earbuds!

(Although, with the music playing they probably thought you were yelling Airbud and were making a movie recommendation.)

Private conversations are supposed to be just that–private. If you must have a private conversation in public, it should be quiet. Cell phone conversations are not.

In the very very improbable case that I met such a couple, I would cut them some slack.

ETA: you’re not serious, are you?

Lol, please tell me you’re not seriously trying to make the argument that if it’s not rude for the old couple it shouldn’t be rude for the other able bodied people. Bc that would be ridiculous.

Why not?

If you really want to know the answer to that question I would suggest you take a class in empathy 101.

I think it’s pretty narcissistic behavior, particularly when you describe the circumstance.

Anything within a stone’s throw of a hospital is subject to additional consideration. Things aren’t always going so well for somebody waiting on their loved one – a patient in that hospital.

It’s a really good time to be particularly considerate of what those around you might be going through.


And you should take a class in remedial “the world doesn’t revolve around you”. Who are you to judge which people are worthy to have conversations and which aren’t?

It’s the last thing on their tiny, inconsiderate minds.

If it’s loud in an otherwise quiet space, it’s rude.

And the people on the phone are what–just visiting the hospital on a lark?