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

Actually, there would be. It’d be to enjoy your music (or whatever) in peace without listening to everyone else’s – which is exactly what I do if I want to shield myself from the usual urban cacophony.

The problem with using headphones or ear buds is that they block out the rest of the world. If you are going for a run it’s important to hear that car coming up behind you if you’re waiting in a hospital it may be important to hear them paging you. While I prefer to use my Bluetooth glasses in a public setting they only have a two hour battery life so after that speaker phone would be the way to go. Either way I’m going to keep an ear out for important things instead of just focusing on a call.

I think people having phone conversations on speaker phone is only mildly impolite to bystanders, but what I find very impolite is that all the times I have been the bystander I have never heard the person on the phone let the person on the other end of the call know that they are on speakerphone, I have always been taught that you should always let people know if you have them on speaker so they are aware that others may be listening

We should all take to carrying whistles with us. When it’s annoying, just start blowing it randomly. They’ll have to move away, at the very least!

I’ve wondered the same, about if the other person is aware their business is being conducted publicly, in the street.

It’s def rude, in my opinion. Especially idiots holding their phone out, a foot from their face and shouting at it, WTF? Just put it up to your ear if you simply MUST be talking everywhere you go!

When I encounter this, I find myself trying to decide if this person just an attention whore, who needs everyone to see them, like noisy teenagers buying alcohol for the first time. Or, so insecure they cannot be alone with their own thoughts for even the time it takes to wait for a bus, or walk to a store.

It’s no doubt sometimes both.

In the relatively early days of cell phones, there were several studies that said that something like a third of cell phone users admitted that they often talked to nobody on their cell phone – just holding it to their ear and ‘acting.’

It wasn’t so much about looking occupied in order to avoid being bothered. It was more about appearing to ‘be important’ or to ‘have friends.’


I wonder what has happened with that statistic given the ubiquity of phones now.

I don’t like talking on my cell phone, and rarely do it. But i despise having stuff shoved into my ears. I am dumbfounded that most of the population seems to accept this as a normal thing. It’s like shoving something in a nostril. It’s uncomfortable, AND it cuts you off from the world.

So when i do use my cell phone, i use it on speaker phone.

I even bought a bone-conducting headset, but it’s buggy and i have trouble pairing it cleanly, and there seems to only be one brand. So i rarely use it.

Hmm, it seems there are more options, now. I wonder if it’s worth trying again.

[insufferable pedant] In the US, teens can’t (legally) buy alcohol. [/ip]

But why on speakerphone and not in the usual way, phone to ear? I only use speakerphone when I need my hands free, for typing or writing down something simultaneously for instance, and that rarely happens when I’m in public.

I’ve had two phones that basically didn’t work if i put them to my ear. Or rather, if i don’t turn on speaker phone. So i guess I’ve been trained to do it that way.

By “don’t work”, i mean that the person i was taking to couldn’t hear me, and i yelled louder and louder, and they still asked me to say stuff again, and i finally switched to speaker phone and could talk in a somewhat normal voice.

My current phone actually does work if i put it next to my ear and don’t turn on “speaker”. If i used it as a phone more, i suppose i ought to train myself to do that.

It’s rude, but it’s fighting against the tide at this point.

I used to ask people to turn down the volume or whatever but nowadays, in many parts of the world, it’s rare to find a public place where someone isn’t sodcasting. Including places that are supposed to be quiet.
For this reason I essentially always have ear plugs with me.

Before covid my job involved a lot of international travel, and the US ISTM was on the lighter end of cellphone use. I suspect it’s just a matter of time before this same culture also spreads to the US.

But also, ever since phones got small, and stopped having a big mouthpiece and earpiece, the ergonomics of taking on the phone have been bad. At home, I’ve stopped using my landline held to my head, and just use it in speaker mode routinely. So i guess I’ve gotten used to speakerphone as normal.

If my Wife and I are just relaxing, reading, whatever, and one of us gets a call, we take it to another room. It’s the polite thing to do.

Well, it does depend on the circumstance. If it’s a call we are waiting for from, say, a contractor, I take it then and there. It will be quick. If I’m just gonna shoot the shit with my cousin, I’ll take it in another room.

I certainly wouldn’t disturb others that are trying to relax in a public place. That is definitely rude.

You’re probably the guy/gal who takes one step off the escalator and comes to dead stop,…am I right? :grin:

I’ll disagree with many people here. It’s annoying AF but it’s not rude if it’s outdoors in an open area. If you’re definition of rude is, “anything I personally find annoying” then I guess it’s rude.

Really? I love my Aftershokz for running. I had one experience where - mid-run, while they had been working up until then - they decided to melt down and stop connecting, but they were fine after a factory reset. That’s one problem in probably three years of using them regularly.

What if it’s “anything that most people find annoying?”

My problem is related to wanting it to pair with a variety of devices. It’s really clunky to convince it to pair to THIS laptop. Also, when i use it with my windows laptop, i can’t change the volume, and it defaults to “a little too loud for comfort”. I looked online, and my problem seems to be pretty common, so i think it’s an actual bug and not a user error.

I always assumed that the use of speakerphone mode on cell phones was a result of the scare about brain cancer or something if you hold it up to your ear for long periods. I don’t know if that’s still the case. I know I basically hate having conversations on cell phones because the sound is so bad. Maybe that’s why so many people talk so loudly on them (on speakerphone or not) because they know how hard it is to understand clearly on these devices.

I would call the behavior described in the OP as inconsiderate rather than rude. The word “rude” to me implies some sort of community standard, which doesn’t really exist. “Inconsiderate” is more neutral and factual, since it just means that a person is not considering other peoples’ presence and the impact their behavior is having on them. In the OP’s case, it seems like the environment had been pretty quiet up to that point, and the phone talker was oblivious to that. Oblivious and inconsiderate often go together (but not always, because many inconsiderate people just don’t care about others, and would do the same thing even if they knew how annoying they were being).

Oh, yeah, ok. I don’t have a single bluetooth device that I think handles the multi-way pairing well, so I’ve mostly defaulted to not even trying to do it. I’m not familiar with any specific problems with the Aftershokz and this, but it doesn’t surprise me.

ETA: they’re really best for use in a semi-noisy environment where you want to hear the background noise too. If you still have them, you might try pairing them only to your phone and see if they’re useful for that.

I’m not willing to carry them around to use when I might make a phone call away from home. I pretty much never do that anyway. I want headphones to use with my laptops, not my phone. (I use laptops for Zoom, Teams, and Discord voice calls.)

I bought them to use with Discord, playing Minecraft with friends. I didn’t want to silence the game, but my friends didn’t want to hear the cows lowing in the background of my call. And the “can’t change the volume” was pretty much a deal killer. I am now using two different laptops, one for Discord and the other for Minecraft, and if they aren’t right next to each other, no one hears the cows, or other ambient Minecraft noises. It has the added advantage that I don’t have to pause Minecraft to mess with Discord settings.

Ergonomically, they are the best headphones I’ve ever used. I hate having stuff in my ears, and I dislike having stuff over my ears. And I don’t like being cut off my from surroundings, even if it’s just the background noises of my family in the house. So they should have been perfect. But they proved fussy, and I gave up.

Fair enough. Sorry they didn’t work for you :frowning: