I Don’t Want to Hear Your Phone Conversation!

phone etiquetteHere’s a scary thought: At 8.9 billion, the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions now exceeds the world population, according to the International Telecommunication Union. We’ve come a long way in terms of our communication methods and being able to talk to anyone, anytime. As a result of this, it’s hard to look around and not see at least someone on their phone texting, playing games, taking photos, or having a conversation. The problem is where people are using their devices and the lack of phone etiquette when doing so in public.

Take a retail store like Marshalls. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been quietly browsing the racks when I hear a full-blown conversation at decibels not acceptable for a public space. The person or people are using the speaker mode, speaking loudly to a family member or friend and sharing their day’s events, family drama, work gossip, plans for the weekend, etc. They aren’t using headphones. And they aren’t taking it in a private space when most times, it’s a very private conversation. I think I can speak on behalf of a lot of people when I say, no one wants to hear it!

I have been known to walk over and ask people to keep it down or take it outside. I also make it known that it’s bothering me by giving stares or moving away from them. Why should I and others have to suffer? It’s just plain rude and disrespectful — and some people are oblivious that there is anything wrong with it.

Some places like physician’s offices or hair salons, post signs that ask patrons not to use their phones while there… but we all know there are always a few people who disregard the direction. No one wants to hear it!

If you must take a call while in public, please consider the following:

  1. If the call can wait and it’s not an emergency, ask the caller if you can call them back when you’re done.
  2. Use texts or photos when a call seems disruptive. You can still communicate without disturbing those around you.
  3. Don’t use speakerphone! There are thousands of different types of headphones — pop a pair in your ears and problem solved!
  4. If you take your call into a bathroom, put the call on hold or mute for a few minutes. Nothing is that important.
  5. If you’re at a cash register, and there is a line of people waiting behind you, you are not giving the cashier or worker your full attention and it’s taking the transaction longer than it should.
  6. Make more calls in the car while you’re driving and less when you’re in public.

To me, it’s pretty simple. If you have a call to make or take, step outside and take it, or ask to call them back until you’re in a better position to speak more privately. Stores, offices, gyms, bathrooms, elevators, etc., are not the place for it.

Kerry Schicker
Boy mom. Household CEO. Corporate leader. Outdoor lover. Social seeker. Sun worshipper. Curious traveler. Champagne enthusiast. These words describe me, Kerry Schicker, and contributor for Jacksonville Mom. I first approached founders Vicky and Megan after a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I had a very unpleasant experience with my OB at the time and I needed to get it off my chest so I wrote an anonymous blog that resonated with some of our readers. I have since written dozens of blogs mostly about motherhood. I have a passion for writing. My 20-year career has grown through some form of writing including TV news reporting and producing, magazine publishing, public relations, advertising, marketing, blogging and my current day job doing HR and employee communications for a Fortune 300 FinTech company. I am thankful that Jacksonville has such a supportive community for moms like me, and I can't imagine raising my two boys anywhere else.


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