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Thursday, May 19, 2011

People talking on Mobile phones - loudly, irreverently and at odd places

There is a saying that ‘woman generally speaking are speaking’.

A technological marvel is being abused so badly – it is the mobile phone.  A great means of effective communication, people are not using it but abusing it – you find people talking while driving two wheelers, cars, whilst walking on busy roads, travelling in public transport, while inside Temples, in cinema halls, in public places even in toilets.

There could be special tariffs and rates could be low but do really people have so much to talk and is there real need for speaking so much.  Right from early morning till mid night, you can find people talking on streets, at home and everywhere.  The blaring horns do no alarm them, the cell user is in a World of their own – talking, talking and continuing talking unmindful of whatever happens around.  They have caused and have become victims of road accidents but they simply refuse to learn and understand.  

A mobile phone is a device which allows you to receive and make calls whilst you are away from your workplace or residence.  Mobile phone is not the device that is to be used whilst you are mobile – moving from place to place.  

There are greater myths circulating on the Internet and in books and most of them do not have a base nor any iota of truth.  One oft related one is ‘Your cell phone can unlock your car’.  One cannot find its origins – but it is –  if your remote key gets  locked inside your car, you can still open the car using the duplicate in a mobile when connected to another mobile standing near your car’.    A technologist states that ‘phone uses audio frequency while the remote keys operate on higher radio frequency’’.  The only way one can unlock the car with a mobile handset, is by breaking the glass pane with it.  

Just as We had ‘telephone etiquette’ to follow   - there is also the ‘cell phone etiquette’ which when followed, will allow fellow human beings to life happily ever after.  

You just do not need an elder or books to say that talking loudly in a mobile phone in public place is bad and would offend others who are forced to listen to a business alien to them.  Apart from such overbearing conversations, obnoxious and loud ringtones certainly are disruptions.  To get rid of such annoyance, let us follow some basic rules to contribute to a more polite society :

ü      keep conversations private, simple and short.  If in a Public place, keep the ringer volume low, good enough to be heard by you alone and when on a call keep your voice low and conversation brief
ü      try and talk only to your listener, not to all.  Pull a side, try to seclude you as much as possible and don’t walk your talk, disturbing everybody else.  
ü      Lights out – Phones off – turn off your phone in Temples, movie theatres, observatories, hospitals and other public places.
ü      Modulate your voice.  Yelling even on a mobile is bad manners. Avoid displaying your emotions public
ü      Keep distance – stay at a reasonable distance away from fellow human beings, when you are in a conversation in mobile
ü      One at a time – don’t ever using two mobile or phones at a time, telling each other that you are on a call !
ü      If you are driving – drive and talk later – multitasking is not always good.  Even using a hands-free can be distracting.  Calls and caller can wait till you reach destination.
ü      Give way to your common sense.  Will not you turn off your phone if you are in a job interview or before a very respected senior.  Turn off when you are inside marriage halls, temples,  library, meeting rooms, physician consultation, attending to a sick person, attending a funeral…..

Some of the following are considered evils, though observed day in and day out :  --  talking too loudly; holding inappropriate conversations in public; rudely interrupting other’s conversations;  checking your mobile for a message or calls whilst driving, waiting in the signal, walking on roadside or at public places; texting whilst driving; loud and annoying ring tones; disturbing live performances and talking at inappropriate locations.  problem. Again, if people are going to act like children we need to treat them like children. 

Quite unfortunate that these never enter the minds of ‘mobile users in India’.  Now you find numerous mobile shops in every street and people keep buying new mobiles ‘in exchange’ of anew.  The only solace is Indians are not alone in this planet.  They have astute companions. Read this news report.

There are reports that a woman in US was  taken off a train by police and charged after she spoke too loudly on her mobile phone ... for 16 hours.  The woman, Lakeysha Beard was charged with disorderly conduct after she had an argument in a carriage of an Amtrak train with passengers who asked her to be quiet, US media reports said.

The 39-year-old was on the phone throughout the train's journey from Oakland, California, to Salem, Oregon, on Sunday, local television station KATU reported.

In an unexpected twist, Ms Beard reportedly  told the station later  that she did not understand why everyone was complaining and felt "disrespected" by how she was treated.

Such incidents only reveal that humans are forgetting the art of sharing the environment.  

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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