Public Noise Pollution: People, This Has To Stop

Listen up. Your portable devices are not intended for public broadcast. Your pointless phone call, your terrible choice in music, your stupid free-to-play game nor your kid’s favorite dumb youTube channel — there is no excuse for any of this to be played in public; anywhere in public.

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We used to Vulcan Neck Pinch people for playing audio in public. Courtesy Paramount Pictures.

A new public indecency epidemic is upon us — and for some reason, nobody is talking about it.

This happens everywhere. Restaurants. Doctor’s office waiting rooms. Bathrooms. Public transportation; anywhere human beings congregate and most certainly anywhere a parent and their children might have to wait around for more than five minutes.

The Speaker Phone

People are walking through grocery stores — essentially using their phone as a walkie-talkie. I assure you they aren’t helping an inexperienced passenger perform an emergency landing of a Boeing 737 Max. They aren’t helping Stu Redmond perform an ad-hoc appendectomy.

I’ve seen people carrying on full, useless conversations .. holding the phone up to their mouths like they are feeding a baby bird from it. Yet, to hold the phone up to your ear? How 2005.

You want the icing on the cake? I’ve seen people with AirPods in their ears using their phone’s speaker in public to carry on conversations.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Hold the phone up to your ear and yell real loud on the phone so everyone notices your new iPhone … like a decent person.

Better yet — get yourself a hands-free private device. They have’em. I’ve seen pictures.

Mobile Gaming

First off, mobile gaming sucks since free-to-play microtransactions took over. Those repetitive, dopamine-engaging sound effects designed to make you spend $4.99 on Smurfberries may add some enjoyment to your time-sink game.

Good lord, we don’t want to hear it. Ever.

If I’m sitting at the pharmacy waiting for a prescription and have to hear that same damn BLING or BONG over and over again because you can’t sit there for 6.5 minutes (yeah, I timed it), play the game with no sound or heaven FORBID find a goddamn pair of headphones to pop on?

Your prescription may need to be updated to include opioid pain killers. Don’t you know that repetitive sounds are known to make people crazy? Misophonia. It is a thing.

Your Music — My Space

No, not the defunct MySpace that just lost 15 years of music. MY PERSONAL SPACE.

I love music. I really do. My choice of music would most CERTAINLY offend you (or possibly disgust you) — unless you happen to like sugary love pop tunes from the 80s. Shouldn’t shock you that your music offends me.

Why do you play your music out loud? In public? What is your line of thinking?

“This music is soooo good — I’m doing everyone a favor by playing it out loud for you.”

Could that be it? Because you’re wrong. I don’t like your hip hop. I don’t like your Taylor Swift. I don’t like your Rush. Hey, even if you were playing Air Supply’s Greatest Hits (please, no comments) I still wouldn’t want you blasting it on your Samsung Galaxy S10 at the doctor’s office.

I actually care about music enough that I want to hear it with some fidelity and quality. Your Dolby Atmos capable phone’s speakers still sounds like crap compared to my headphones.

You love music so much? Try a decent pair of headphones. You might be amazed at just how good your (probably offensive to most) music sounds.

While we’re on the topic? This applies to you rude bastards that think I need to hear your after-market car stereo while I’m on my commute home. If I can hear your rap music with all my windows rolled up and my own stereo cranked up? We have a problem here.

I Don’t Find Your Kids Cute

I’m a parent of three; two adult girls and a twelve year old boy. There, the argument of “you don’t understand what it is like taking kids into public” argument is moot.

So you don’t want to parent? You don’t find value in your kids reading a book quietly while sitting in the orthopedic surgeon’s waiting room? You insist on both your kids having giant 10" iPads with huge stands on them (you can’t make this up) playing F2P games while you wait for your husband to be seen?

I have one word for you: headphones.

Buy them. You made sure you blurted out loud that your kids have iPads. You blurted out loud that you have a new iPhone. You blurted out loud that some asshat on the other end of your iPhone won’t stop FACETIMING you (what the HELL is that obnoxious notification sound you have set for that? Thanks for making sure we heard it 5 or 6 times while in the doctor’s office). We get it — you are one of the Apple elite.

That means you can afford a damn pair of headphones for EACH of your daughter’s IPADS.

This seems to be the latest in parenting trends; give your kids electronics with no headphones. Play all the games, watch all the videos you want and don’t worry about that volume level; you’re a cute kid. That grumpy old man in the corner you are blasting PewDiePie’s latest paid game stream at won’t say anything because you’re a darling little boy.

Parents? I hold you responsible for the nonsense your kids are up to in public. Since you are behaving poorly too — I see where they get it.

What will it take to stop this?

How can I make this noise go away? Can I Vulcan Neck Pinch you and your kids? That’s how we dealt with rude, thoughtless people in the 1980s.

Even though this isn’t my problem — it is yours … what if I helped out?

I’ll buy about 500 pairs of cheap Chinese earbuds from and I’ll hand them out like candy at Halloween for your kids.

Damn, that’s a great idea. Give earbuds out instead of sweets on October 31st. I don’t think the message would get across.

I wonder how that would go over in the Really Real World … if I gave thoughtless people and their kids headphones when they decide what I need to be listening to in public?

Don’t you dare file this under “grumpy old man” … file this under “rude ass people in public”.

Thank you.

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I write, blog, record and review anything that interests me — including humanity, parenting, gizmos & gadgets, video games and media.

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