I was getting off the bus today, and a woman was standing at the bus stop on her mobile phone. I didn’t pay much attention to her as I got off the bus….until she started screaming into her phone. But then I realized, she wasn’t screaming into her phone, this was her normal volume when using her mobile. As I walked away from the bus stop, I could clearly hear her conversation…..for about 100 meters! Of course I couldn’t understand anything because it was in Chinese, but I could hear every word and every intonation.
Why does she have to scream into her phone? Does she think people on the other end can’t hear her? Does she have a hearing disorder that causes her not to hear herself clearly and, therefore, she speaks loudly? I’ll never know the answer, but I know she’s not alone. I have encountered many people who raise their speaking volume when faced with a mobile call. These are the people who disrupt your dinner when they get a call at the next table and proceed to have a conversation as if the person were across the entire room. These are the people who walk behind you on the street and you can hear every word just as clearly as if you were on the other end of their phone line. These are the people who sit near you on the bus or metro and speak on their mobile as if they’re giving a speech to an audience. These are the loud mobile people.
I once asked someone that I know why she spoke so loudly on her mobile phone. Her response was that, because she has trouble hearing people on her mobile phone, she assumes others have that same problem, so she speaks loudly so people can hear her. When I commented on the developments in mobile technology and the expansion of most mobile networks, it didn’t phase her. The next time I heard her on the phone she was just as loud as ever before.
These people need to realize 2 things. First, they need to realize that the technological advances in mobile technology does not necessitate that callers speak loudly to be heard any more. Most mobile networks and mobile phones can transmit conversations that are softer than regular line phones these days. Also, secondly, these people need to realize how rude they are being to the people around them. When I’m in the supermarket, I don’t want to hear the hapless husband in the other aisle getting his shopping list from his wife. When I’m at the mall, I don’t want to hear the teenage ditz speaking incoherent drivel to one of her girlfriends. When I am at home, I don’t want to hear my neighbor’s private conversation from the hallway, through my door.
These people don’t mean to be annoying, which makes it so much worse. If they don’t realize they’re annoying, they will never stop. When someone is being too loud on their mobile, we have to let them know. It may not help, and they may continue to shout into their phone, but at least we make them aware of how rude and annoying they’re being. That’s the first step to recovery!