#048–Why do some people play music on their phones without headphones or earbuds in public places?

The Universe strikes again with something I can work with. I have excellent hearing. Even now I can hear Starbucks’ sound system through my wrap-around headphones, which are on to diminish the noise so I can write.

Also, it was to tune out a whole different noise that I couldn’t define (but I assume was music).

I’ve had this question for quite a while. I understand people like to listen to their music or audio clips or videos or whatever, and thanks to phones they can bring ’em with them wherever they want. It’s nice to listen to what you want.

But it doesn’t mean we all want to listen to it with you!

It happens once in a while around here. There’s the sound system in the corners playing music, and then this tinny, brash noise coming from somebody’s phone that isn’t a ringtone. The person is sitting there, scrolling mindlessly (at least it looks that way), blasting music or other audio out of their tiny speakers, seemingly unaware of their environment.

Even my own awesome headphones can’t tune them out completely. Few things generate more headaches for me than trying to decipher two or more different songs and tune them out (hence the headphones, though sometimes I have to try hard to listen to what I want to really ignore them.

This morning, I was tempted to turn up my computer volume and play something really loud to maybe get the point across. But I didn’t. I did a passive-aggressive demonstration of putting my headphones on and fuming while I wrote my morning pages.

I’d like to know what’s going through the mind of somebody who is just sitting there with their phone on full volume, subjecting everybody to the sound. They’re in public, shouldn’t they have headphones? Earbuds? It’s the freaking Christmas shopping season now, earbuds can be found for as low as $2, so not having any is a damned ridiculous excuse.

It doesn’t matter if I LOVE the song (and sometimes I do), but it’s too damned hard to hear yourself think if you’re hearing multiple songs all at the same time (or at least I can’t). It’s as annoying as the person who is talking on their phone at full volume, or on speakerphone…or they’re skype-ing on the computer without a headset mic.

It’s nearly as annoying as the parents who give their kids their phone to let ’em watch cartoons at full freaking volume while they talk or relax (no earbuds anywhere, either).

Ugh, we don’t all need to know your business.

The rest of us don’t need to know your favorite song, or video game, or what song you’re currently working on.

I’ve seen some people bring monitors and keyboards in and work on music mixes they play back over and over again–you need freaking headphones, man! They’ve got splitters so you can listen to the same thing (and tune the rest of us out–wouldn’t that be nice?)

Sheesh–what’s going through the mind of these people who have to make more noise pollution in the place? Do they care that they might be annoying patrons who just wanna sit and enjoy their coffee or study or their business meeting or something? It’s like they are oblivious to the glares and stares of people around them who want them to be quieter, or they just don’t care. I mean it, seriously.

And how do you confront someone about that? Be passive aggressive or what? Can you actually confront someone about that?

I want to start, because it’s damned irritating and I know I’m not the only one affected. I see others huffing in exasperation all the damned time.

But why do they do it? They have to know the rest of us can hear it!

Any answers would be fantastic.

4 thoughts on “#048–Why do some people play music on their phones without headphones or earbuds in public places?

  1. Alvin Byrd says:

    I am with you on this. On fact right now l am being subjected to a Filipino gentleman having a long/loud conversation with his wife and her voice is sooo annoying.

    Even though l can not understand the Tagalog language which is being spoken it is still loud and irritating.

    In this particular case l believe it rudeness combined with culture…still does not make it acceptable.


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