Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanks for Sharing. Not.

One of the royal pains of modern living is the tendency of people to use their cell phones everywhere, all the time, at full volume, regardless of the topic of the conversation. I've written here about the time I overheard a loud conversation in the airport in which a man was berating the person at the other end for not getting him an appointment at the right time ... with his proctologist. I've also noted people in the Pentagon using the modern equivalent of Maxwell Smart's Cone of Silence - they sit in stalls in the men's room with the door closed and have intimate conversations, as if no one else could hear. On the bus, on the subway, on the street, in stores, and from the next car at traffic lights (when you can hear it over the pounding bass of the stereo) - you can't escape hearing everyone else's conversations.

But it gets worse. According to this article from yesterday's Washington Post, the latest twist on being exposed to everyone else's conversations is exposure to everyone else's ... porn.

Yes, now we can experience the joy of pornography shared by those who play their video players in the next seat on airplanes, buses, and subways, or on video screens in the back seats of cars ahead of us in traffic. We can hear the gasping throes of lust leaking from around cheap headsets the same way we get to enjoy the pounding music some morons insist on playing at top volume so that we can all share it even though they're using headsets. As the author of the Post article writes, "...the increasing popularity of laptops and handheld devices, and the prevalence of wireless Internet access, means there's a greater chance of becoming a bystander to a complete stranger's viewing proclivities. Like being exposed to the cigarette smoke of a nicotine addict on the street, people are inhaling secondhand smut."

This is way too much information for an aging curmudgeon like me.

Now, don't get me wrong ... I've got nothing against porn per se. If your life is so empty of normal relationships that you need porn to get by, hey, more power to ya. But please don't share it with the rest of us. Those of us with lives don't need it, don't care, and don't want to have to see and hear it from you.

Trust me, I'd rather laugh at your attempts to get that appointment with your proctologist.

Have a good day. Invest in a good privacy screen for your laptop, and some really good headphones. The rest of us will thank you.

Tomorrow is Cartoon Saturday. Be here.



Amanda said...

Ewww!!! I'm glad that the only thing the guy next to us on the train yesterday was sharing were some clips of cartoon theme songs. I'd hate to have to answer any of Aaron's questions on porn in the middle of a crowded train.

Debbie said...

You missed one of my beefs...texting! It's bad enough to have a stupid little phone ringing in the middle of a conversation, concert, movie or whatever, but texting has doubled the displeasure. Am I the only one in the world who is offended by people you are interacting with, putting you on hold so they can read a message and respond, or to answer the phone? It's one thing if they are waiting for the birth of a child or some big news, but most calls and messages are inane. Turn them off people!!!

John said...

All of us at work were recently briefed on "sexting"! Apparently, somewhere in the FAA, somebody left there cell phone on a counter and it started vibrating. A co-worker that was checking to see if she needed to inform the phone owner of a message checked the phone to find an incoming pornographic picture and then filed charges because of her offended sense of what is appropriate for the workplace.

On the loud conversations--I recently saw a comedian's solution to this problem. He would walk right up to them and listen intently to their conversation. When they asked for some privacy, he would remind them that they are in PUBLIC. There is no PRIVACY in PUBLIC! If they want to converse in private then they need to go someplace else--they're in PUBLIC!

Mike said...

Ah the good ol' days. When you only had a telephone. And you could wisper into the phone and the person on the other end could still actually hear you.

Wv: maggag - What Mag did when she saw the porn pictures.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Now I've heard everything....well I would have if I heard them on that phone!