What gets your goat: Phone etiquette

Photo by Analyn Cuarto
Photo by Analyn Cuarto

People who talk on speakerphone in public drive me insane

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor


Technology is amazing. The ability to connect, communicate and form relationships with anyone from anywhere in the world right there at your fingertips—or, actually, you’re probably holding it in your hands as you read this. However, as much as I love modern technology, there is a way some people choose to use it that makes me hate everything about it. I am talking, of course, about people who talk on their speakerphones in public.

Why do people even want to do this? It’s like they want everyone to hear their conversation for some strange reason. It’s loud and obnoxious and people usually end up yelling into their speakers just so the other person can hear them. I can’t think of any possible reason why people choose to do this. Is it because they can’t hear what the other is saying when they put their phone up to their ear? Because that’s the only reason I can think of. Let me tell you, if you claim you can’t hear someone talking through your phone when it’s right up to your ear there is no way you can expect to hear them better when their garbled, staticky voice is being played through your phone speakers.

It doesn’t make any sense. If you claim you can hear better with the phone speaker on in a loud environment like the SkyTrain or a busy college, you are lying to yourself and everyone else around you. To quote the honourable Judge Judy on this matter, “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

I am not completely heartless, however. I can understand and sympathize if your phone is broken and talking on speaker is the only way you can talk on your phone. There is nothing you can do in this situation. Or if your hands are busy and need to make a quick call and can’t put the phone up to your ear, but you could also use earphones if this does happen. I don’t mean to make people feel bad for doing this, it’s your life, after all. Nonetheless, if you decide to talk to someone on your speakerphone in a public setting, I can guarantee everyone is listening to your conversation and silently judging you.