foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

Inconsiderate idiots and their mobile phones

, posted: 21-Jan-2008 16:34

Maybe I'm just a bit grumpy today. Maybe I'm a bit tired and just more easily annoyed. But one thing that really gets to me are those entirely inconsiderate idiots who force the contents of their mobile phone conversations onto everyone around them by conducting said conversation in an obnoxiously, annoyingly and completely unnecessarily high volume. And right now I have to listen to a high-volume one man show of exactly that kind, while I am waiting here.

Do they have to shout into their phone? Do they have to disrupt a considerate silence in a public place with their booming voice? Everyone else talks softly, tries not to disturb anyone else. But not those people, no no, not them, since they are oh-so-important.

They have their damn phone right next to their ear, and its microphone right next to their damn mouth. Can't they just tone it down a bit? Consideration for your fellow human beings? No?

No, apparently not.

So, I'm wondering: Since they are obviously intending their conversation to be for the public, why don't we record it and make sure it really becomes public? Everyone these days carries mobile devices, many of which can record sound, some even video. So, here's the idea then: If inconsiderate idiots pull-off one of their 'listen-to-my-oh-so-important-conversation' stunts, why don't we record it (preferably with video) and post it onto a website somewhere? These devices are small enough that such a recording could be done without really being noticed, I reckon. (Save your legality concerns for later, let's just enjoy that thought for a while...)

Inspired by we could call that site or There then we can give those people the wider public audience they so obviously crave. If the recording is clear enough, we can hook all of this up to some speech-to-text engine, so that the entire archive of recordings is searchable. Wouldn't that be great! When someone feels like discussing their business meetings or latest gossip at uber-volume, all their competitors, friends and soon to be ex-friends can search for what they had to say. Wonderful!

I don't know, but maybe the constant threat being publicly outed as the inconsiderate pricks they are would make some people think twice about misbehaving like that? We could all have some fun with them, too.

Sigh. I know, I know. There is probably some annoying law, which makes all of this not quite legal. But the thought is a sweet one, and I will relish it for a moment, while I have to endure the hollering idiot on the other side of the room...


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Comment by nzbnw, on 21-Jan-2008 21:00

Your not in America are you??


Comment by Sinn, on 22-Jan-2008 15:43

hmmm, I wonder if I'm one of those people? I think I do raise my voice when I'm outside but never with the intention of disturbing other people.

In japan, it's actually considered rather rude to talk on your cellphone when in the train or the bus and the resulting silence is quite noticetable. There are even signs for those people who dont understand japanese. Makes sense to me. Although how we'd do something like that here is beyond me.

Comment by Kenshin, on 12-Feb-2008 16:11

Yeah, i hate jerks like that. The last one i had to endure was at the post office (i live in brisbane, australia). standing in line, with his work clothes on (looked like a tradie)...obviously not schooled in any form of etiquette whatsoever.

I believe it's a cry for attention. They are lonely and want ppl to pay attention to them. I don't believe these ppl are rude and inconsiderate just on their phone...they will probably talk loudly all of the time...anything to get some attention.

It's sad really. Mayb if they spent the same amount on their manners as they do on their phone, they would have a few more friends and not need to try so hard.

Author's note by foobar, on 12-Feb-2008 17:29

@nzbw: No, actually. This happened in the business launge in Auckland airport, and the speaker was a Kiwi, I believe.

Comment by james, on 13-Feb-2008 09:24

I am in the crown room and a lady is doing exactly what you were talking about. The funniest thing about it is that she is sitting in the "no-cell-phone" area.

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New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.

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