Lunchtime poll – bring in the noise
September 10th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Speaking of shrieking kids of all ages raining terror down upon diners, didja know that scientists have found out why it's infinitely more annoying to hear cellphone conversations than regular ol' in person chats?

Mindhacks reported on a study that says it's because your brain has to work harder to keep up.

"A one-sided conversation (brilliantly named a ‘half-a-logue’) draws in more of our mental resources because the information is less predictable – like being fed a series of verbal cliff-hangers."

So how 'bout when you're served up one by a nearby diner?

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Filed under: Buzz • Lunchtime Poll

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soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    People seem to increase their speaking volume on cell phones as if they think that cell phone technology is similar to two cans attached by a string technology.

    September 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Brian

    Most of the time, I am eating alone. I talk on my phone because no one else is there for me to talk to in person. If you can have a conversation with the person you are with, then I can have a conversation too. Get over it!

    September 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Cantstandrudeness

      I understand eating alone you want company. I found myself spending an entire holiday weekend alone last year, though it was originally planned to be as part of a couple. Rather than spend the meal looking around at all the other couples, I texted my 21-year old daughter who was aware of the situation, and suddenly there we were, involved in a great conversation, me at the nice restaurant in the romantic little town and she at work in the city 4 hours away (was a slow day for her so she had time to text). She made me laugh and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and nobody was any the wiser. Though there might have been a few curious glances at the gal at the table quietly laughing at her phone from time to time...

      September 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
      • Christellafella

        just tone down the volume, please.

        September 12, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  3. Mike

    My doctor has a sign – no cell phones. People at grocery stores standing in the middle of the aisle or not watching were they are going. Drivers driving too slowly talking on phones – Too many situations to mention – Time for cell phone blockers, yes they have them in Europe – time we get them – Personal ones are illegal in this country but would be wonderful – Walk into a restaurant, movie theater, or driving with your cell phone blocker and everyone would be disconnected.

    September 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Martin

      You said it. I think EVERY doctor's office and hospital and walk in clinic has the "no cell phones" policy.

      I was at the doc's office a few weeks back and a guy in a wheelchair was talking loudly on his cell phone. They told him to shut it off or take it outside. He left in a huff.

      September 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Linda Henley

      I, too, think we should have these. They cause the cell phone to blink off and disconnect for a few seconds. Enough to be annoying and not damaging.

      September 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  4. Veronica Wallace

    I tell my companion, LOUDLY, "If that person is going to shout, they don't need a cellphone. They should save themselves some money and just yell out the window!"

    September 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Observer79

    I am a restaurant owner and i have a sign posted on the counter clearly stating:

    "NO CELL PHONE USAGE AT THE COUNTER! Management reserves the right to refuse service to any and all offenders".

    Most people i would say 90% understand the reasoning behind it. Even still I get certain people who walk up actually using a cell phone at that moment and have to ask me "why not?" if you have to ask, then you are the exact offending reason why! Not only is it rude to the people around you who have zero interests in your life, but also to the person on the line, IMHO

    September 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Cantstandrudeness

      My pharmacy posted a sign that says, "We will serve you after your cell phone call." And people STILL walk up expecting service. I can't stand people overhearing my conversations, so if I get a call in the checkout line, I WILL answer it because the ringtone is the obnoxious sound of an old-fashioned telephone ring (so I can hear it) but I'll tell them "Let me call you right back" and then hang up. I only get calls from 2 or 3 people, and not on a regular basis (we prefer to text), and they understand as they, too, are courteous about taking calls. Unfortunately, like one of the commenters above, I will glare and keep turning to glare at the person, but I'm very non-confrontational. Love some of the ideas I'm getting here, though. Might try a few of them soon.

      September 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Chuck

    I believe a number of people are missing the issue at hand. The annoyance is not the fact that people are talking on cell phones in public places. This is indeed similar to someone having a normal conversation in public, which should not be objectionable. The annoyance is the volume of the conversation. Some people go from a comfortable volume when face to face to an unnecessarily loud volume on the phone (often to the point of yelling). This volume would also be objectionable if carried out face to face. I am of course referring to adults.

    September 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  7. Jack Daws

    I have seen people arrive at the restaurant talking on their cell phone, talk while they are eating at the restaurant and continue talking while they are paying (as if the cashier is a vending machine). No manners whatsoever. I think it is fine to punch them in the head.

    September 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  8. Sean

    Still not as bad as the idiot who won't put it down while he/she is paying at the cash register. Why can't people understand that type of behavior is beyond rude?

    September 11, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • tnnurse

      I talk at the register. That way, I don't have to listen to grocery cashiers whine about doing their jobs after being gone from home for 12 hours doing mine. Honestly, I never used to talk on my phone until I had kids. Now, when I'm at the grocery is the only chance I get to catch up with friends. I don't feel bad about it since I hold the phone and don't use bluetooth and I'm not loud. I also speak to the clerk and make eye contact when I thank them. They are almost always very considerate.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  9. The_Mick

    I look at the offender, smile and give a lower signal with my hand. The offender will often say, "Sorry," and I'll truthfully reply, "I tend to do the same thing." I don't know why, but I think we have a tendency to speak louder into a cell phone as if, psychologically, we feel as if we have to make up for its tiny size.

    September 11, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • RosaFranklin

      Ahh, it's nice to hear of someone being mature about it, instead of getting all passive-aggressive. Nicely done.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:57 am |
  10. Jack

    It's a "demi-logue" (half a word). And that's why it's annoying.

    September 11, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  11. Gert Noodleman

    we throw things at them. We're always bigger than them.

    September 11, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  12. Gary

    This is definitely very rude depending on the restaurant you're in. Even worse are the Nextels. You've got that beep every time the button is pushed and the volume is always too loud as well as the person yelling back into his device just makes me nuts. A long time ago my boss called me using the Nextel from a restaurant. When she told me where she was calling from I told her it was rude and then never replied back.

    I personally ALWAYS set my phone to vibrate and take the call outside after a quick "Hold on a second. I'm in a restaurant."

    September 11, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  13. steve

    There was an episode of Curb your Enthuaism that played this out great.
    Larry pretended to be on his phone and was extra annoying back, very funny and true to life.

    September 11, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  14. jillmarie

    I think it's rude. I hate when I am dining with someone who picks up the phone while we're out too. The worst is when the server tries to take their order and they don't get off the phone. Texting is also rude to dining companions.

    September 11, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • realityckeckChick

      I know! What's even ruder is when you're trying to do your bathroom business and some chatty Cathy has to yap really loud on the phone about nonsense. I can't concentrate you moron! I do have 2 strategies for retaliation. 1. sing the star spangled banner. When they say 'I'm talking do you mind', I say 'oh am I distracting you? or 'if you can talk I can sing.' 2. As you're leaving, flush all the toilets. I have even taped signs to the stall doors stating "I am not a phone booth"

      September 13, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  15. whoopioscar

    I work at a restaurant and had a customer standing at hostess stand talking on her cell phone. Another person came in behind her and I asked if they'd like a table. Cell phone user says "I was here first!" I replied that I thought she was busy in conversation and didn't want to interrupt. I sat the other customer and came back for her. Midway to a table, still on her cell phone, she turns and says to me "Forget it, you're rude!" And walks out. Good riddance!

    September 11, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • Linda Henley

      Well done!

      September 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  16. Margot

    For me, the one way conversation seems so unnatural to my ear that is weirds me out. I would be fine hearing the rhythm of a two-way, give and take, conversation – at 'normal' volume of course. I don't get pissy if a person is on their cel at a normal volume but it took some getting used to for me. Also, sometimes, like when I'm on the bus, or picking a table at a restaurant, I choose based on my surroundings. It used to be that you could pretty much assume that if one person is sitting at a table, or there are two seats on the bus and one of them is taken, that you could be assured that the person wouldn't make a peep. Not so, anymore! The previously missing second person enters via cel- the phone rings or they start dialing, and it's yak, yak, yak and I feel trapped and incredibly annoyed-regardless of their volume. I'm thinking to myself, "I just wanted to sit here and get some peace!" Now, I look for any sign that a person might get on their phone before I pick my seat- but I don't have that down quite yet. As for my commute, it's time to take my own car. People can't shut up.

    September 11, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • Derek

      Why is "one person talking" more disturbing to your peace than "two people talking"?

      Perhaps the problem is simply that people need to adjust to not having an expectation that they'll always be able to overhear both sides of a conversation, especially when they're not even part of that conversation in the first place!

      September 11, 2010 at 9:48 am |
      • e

        if you had read through the article, youd notice that they have a study shown on why it bothers us to hear a one-sided conversation.
        it's just one of those things that you can't drown out.

        September 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
      • Joe

        Its not only that ou are hearing 1/2 a conversation...Its the fact that people also talk louder when they are on a Cell Phone then they would be in a normal conversation.

        September 11, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  17. Barry

    Actually the height of rude is when people come up to my cash register (I am a salesclerk) while talking on their cellphones. They push their items toward me and toss their credit card at me, all without a pause in conversation. That just makes me keep asking questions that they have to answer. And the conversations are so inane. If you aren't calling to tell someone you are late, or were in an accident, you probably don't need to make the call. And really, do you need to use your cellphone while you're on the treadmill next to me at the gym???

    September 11, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • RosaFranklin

      Oh my goodness, phones at the gym drive me CRAZY. It's already a bit loud in there from the machines, so the person is yelling to be heard over the noise, on top of the extra volume boost people almost always use on cell phones, and they're out of breath and tired from jogging or doing the elliptical or what have you, so they don't have good breath control and their words explode out of them more. I just want to read my book in peace while I get some cardio in, or lift weights without feeling uncomfortable and uneasy from being forced to eavesdrop. Why do people even need to take calls at the gym, anyway? Most people aren't there for more than an hour or two...can't it wait? It just doesn't make sense to me.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:13 am |
    • tnnurse

      Barry, I should not have done that to you. Love, Mom

      September 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  18. Nico J.

    This is what texting is for. If it is so important you have to talk, take it outside.

    September 11, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  19. KrSund70

    Some woman gave me the passive-aggressive "huff and puff" while I was speaking normally on the phone on the train yesterday. I elevated my voice and told the person I was speaking to that someone was having a problem with this conversation. I hung up and then, can't make this stuff up, she had the gall to take a call herself which lasted much longer. After she hung up, I told her, it's ok to have a call on the train in a normal voice. Moral of the story ... rudeness comes on the other side of the cell phone divide too and I have no problems calling people out on their antics.

    September 11, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  20. Renee

    It has to do with basic manners. When did we become a country of anything goes? I've been held up in checkout lines by people on their phones. The one I loved was walking out of the grocery store behind someone who's phone rang. She stopped right there and answered it causing a backup at the exit. Come on people. Wait until you're out of the crowd to answer your phone.

    September 11, 2010 at 7:29 am |
    • tnnurse

      You're totally right, and I am guilty of talking while shopping. With my family needing my time at home constantly, my errands are the only time I get to talk to people. However, I do try to keep it down and excuse myself temporarily from the call to be congenial to the cashier and get my business done! We all need to be more considerate of each other!

      September 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  21. SAM

    How about all the NOISY DRUNKS ??????????? Oh im sorry DRUNKS ARE OK........FORGIVE ME

    September 11, 2010 at 5:08 am |
  22. Derek

    RigidPrinciples: There's no conclusive evidence - CONCLUSIVE evidence - of any sort of "cell phone radiation" health-issue.

    Also, you don't have to eat IN A RESTAURANT to live. Go feed your screaming brats at home. And, seriously, your kids' bratty screaming is far more of a mental-health issue to me, any day, than people talking at a reasonable level on a cell phone.

    September 11, 2010 at 12:45 am |
    • RigidPrinciples

      It's only a matter of time before the politicians heed the call of the people, and make cell-phone free restaurants mandatory. If you want to talk on your cell phone, you can do so in the privacy of your home. But you don't have the right to endanger the health of the rest of the community while you are in the community's restaurants, or on their roads.

      September 11, 2010 at 1:49 am |
      • Derek

        First, there's still no CONCLUSIVE evidence of any sort of "health risk" to third parties from cell phone use. There's not even conclusive evidence of risk to the actual phone user themselves. So waving that flag around will get you nowhere.

        Second, they're not "the community's restaurants". Where did the idea start that the "community" has any say whatsoever in what happens inside restaurants? The restaurants are private property, owned by people who actually invest real money in their existence. The restaurant owners can make whatever rules they want and if you like/dislike them, you're welcome to go start up your own "Cell-Phone Free" chain of restaurants. If there's really this huge demand like you claim, you should be able to make Donald Trump Lotto stealing the business from all those crazy cell-phone filled eateries. Or vote with your dollars and refuse to eat at places that allow cell phone use (and tell those eateries why you're not going there, so they know what they need to change to earn your business back). Again, if there's enough people who think this is truly a problem, the business owners will see the effects and change their business model to match the demand.

        Myself, as I said before, screaming brats pose far more of a (mental) health danger than a person talking on a cell phone ever will.

        September 11, 2010 at 9:42 am |
      • Dr. McHammerpants

        Ever use a microwave? Use it once, you've inherited a lifetime of cell phone use 'radiation'.

        September 11, 2010 at 9:49 am |
      • RigidPrinciples

        You say it is private property, yet we have seen many smoking bans be SUCCESSFUL over the past few years. This precedent allows cell phone bans in restaurants. "Vote with my dollar" ? Why would I need to do that, when I don't even need to convince the majority, but I just need to convince a small number of politicians ? The free market does *NOT* work when it comes to issues of public health. Folks KNEW smoking was HORRIBLE for them for many years, yet people would still choose the smoking bars over the non-smoking bars. This really sucked for the people who just wanted to go out in a smoke free environment, as how were they able to know which ones were smoking and which were non-smoking ? FURTHERMORE, what if you lived in a small town, and there was only one bar, and it allowed smoking ? What were you supposed to do then ?!?! Eventually, folks will understand the dangers of these folks who won't stop yakking on their cell phones, and the rest of us will then be able to eat in restaurants without having our rights infringed upon!

        September 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
      • Dan Veimms

        Funny, some European countries have cell phone standards that the junk we use over here can't meet. Safety standards. However, these are countries that the public safety has priority over the corporate benefit.

        September 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  23. Derek

    RigidPrinciples: You're right. They should also ban "talking" in restaurants, because there's no functional difference between "talking on a cell phone" and "talking to a person across the table from you".

    Also, "no whining kids" (there was a CNN story about this just the other day) ... it would be AWESOME if I could go into any restaurant anywhere and be assured that there would not be some snot-nosed brat running around the tables screaming like an out of control hyena, or crying hysterically because his mother won't get him a Happy Meal, or is insisting that he eat the vegetables on his plate. They should definitely ban everyone under, say, the age of 14 from every restaurant.

    Also, perfume. Man, there's nothing worse than going into a restaurant where you're just trying to savor the aroma of your dinner, and some lady has this noxious liquid dunked all over her. Nope, no perfumes or colognes permitted on any guests.

    September 11, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • RigidPrinciples

      You don't have to talk on your cell phone to live. You, and children, have to eat to live. I look at it as a social health issue, especially when you consider the harmful radiation from cell phones. You don't have a right to hurt other people by spewing your cell phone radiation at them.

      September 11, 2010 at 12:42 am |
      • Classification MIstake

        Kids need to eat, but they don't need to run around screaming while eating.
        People always have some scent, but it doesn't have to be the scent of an allergy inducing, invasive perfume.
        These things are annoying and under your control.
        Your point should not have been that people need to talk, but they don't have to talk loudly on cellphones in dining facilities.

        I wonder if they are really talking more loudly in these circumstance. I'd like to see a study on that.

        The article points out that people's brains strain to understand the one-sided conversations of other people talking on cellphones. Perhaps people just SEEM louder?

        September 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  24. Ray

    Very rude people they are. I don't go out to eat just to set and listen to someones one-sided conversation. Put the stupid thing on speaker phone and turn up the volume, so we can hear both sides of the conversation. Better idea, TURN IT OFF!!!

    September 11, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  25. RigidPrinciples

    I don't see why folks aren't calling on their governments to implement cell phone bans in restaurants. If you want to talk on your cell phone, you are welcome to go outside while the rest of us can eat without hearing you talk on your cell phone. Even though some of the restaurants are cell-free, when you just need to get something to eat, what if the only restaurant nearby is not cell-free ? It would be nice to be able to go to any restaurant and be assured it is cell-phone free.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
    • Kat

      And folks on headsets (like Blue Tooth) seem to talk much louder - almost as though they think they can't be heard if they don't shout.

      September 11, 2010 at 5:07 am |
      • Christellafella

        The bluetooth signal dampens the volume so, therefore, people are talking louder to make up the difference.

        September 12, 2010 at 8:27 am |
    • Kelly

      I feel the same way about cigarette smoke. Thank God for a smoke-free restaurant policy here in Louisiana. That's about the only thing our Legislature has EVER done right.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  26. Nick Danger

    When this annoys you get involved in the conversation. There are many ways to do this, but whichever way you choose make sure that your volume level equals that of the irritator. Ask questions, give advice, etc. If they tell you it is none of your business then you can kindly point out that through their volume level they have made it your business. Usually they get the message, and fairly quickly at that.

    September 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  27. Common sense.

    I've honestly never encountered this.

    I wouldn't say anything or ask anyone to say anything – but I might glare. It's the same thing I do when children are running around a restaurant unruly or making too much noise. I'm easily annoyed, but completely nonconfrontational..

    September 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  28. Joseph L Cooke

    I wouldn't mind seeing some cell phone rage once in a while. No jury would ever convict the perp.

    September 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • JAY

      unless you have an all-cell phone addict jury

      September 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  29. snooki au jus

    All A-D-D attention whores simply have to do their laundry in public. Loudly. They should all have their asses kicked by Henri.

    September 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
  30. Henri

    I've never had a problem just confronting them. I walk over to their table, and tell them "if you don't shut-up I am going to kick your a**, and stuff that phone down your throat." That seems to work pretty well. If they get verbal with me, I reach in and grab their kneck and begin a choke hold. That usually get their attention. I've had one woman stick a fork in my hand during one of these educational seminars, and suffice to say, her dinner ended-up in her lap, and her husband now talks with a lisp.

    September 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • OhthatChar

      I like you!!

      September 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • John P

      Me and boys, see, we make a quick phone call of our own and quickly leave the restaurant, if you get my meaning.

      September 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Rosa

      Uh huh.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:51 am |
    • Paul

      Violence – that's really bringing maturity to the situation. You do realize that sooner or later you're gonna end up spending some time in the slamer for assualt don't you? Unfortunately the type of arrogance that causes self-importance on the phone is frequently tied to filthy wealth. If you get rought with the wrong person you may have a brief victory followed the the ruination of the rest of your life.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  31. Couldn't believe it

    I sat horrified listening to a woman discuss her va-j-j problems loud and uncensored while deep in a cell phone conversation in a restaurant one Saturday afternoon. Wait staff wouldn't say anything to her and were helpless as they did not have a cellphone free policy. Instead I asked that my party be moved to another location well away from this woman who obviously knew nothing about discretion. The wait staff was happy to be able to at least move us and then also gave us fabulous service. It's unfortunate that some people don't know when to turn it off.

    September 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • snooki au jus

      Did she mention if it was itching, burning, or oozing? 'Cause mine is.

      September 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
  32. stars

    my favorite thing to do is to start loudly commenting to my companion on whatever the lout is saying in their conversation. Or interject my own thoughts. When they get rude and tell me to mind my own business, I look surprised and say, "oh, Im sorry, I assumed you were talking to all of us!"

    September 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  33. Mandi

    I have been guilty of the cell phone crime,but I'm learning from my choices,What pisses me off is when people start talking trash,but yet if you did the same thing it would be a different story.I try to take my calls outside or not answer the phone unless it is important

    September 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  34. Riverdale

    Just happened to me yesterday. The guy was alone, talking so loudly on this phone. We sat there for a few, then asked the server if we could move. She had no problem with that and we enjoyed our lunch in peace. People are clueless!

    September 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  35. jeanster

    20 years ago I saw a sign posted in a booth in a Chicago pizza parlor. "No more than five mobile phones per booth." Perhaps today's restaurants could post signs with a little humor.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  36. demntd

    i actually have a ringtone tone clip on my cellphone of emergency vehicles, fire, police EMS responding to an emergency racing through Times Square, New York City. If moved to do so, I just bring it up and hit the 'play' button..... my LG DARE has great audio..... most people start looking out the front window, then they see who and where it's really coming from. i just sit there and quick grimace smile on eye contact....... not worth getting angry over, just returning the favor........

    September 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • Kat

      And is this your normal ring tone? If so, what do you accomplish? If not, what is the purpose of the ring tone. Sounds to me as though you just like having your ego stroked.

      September 11, 2010 at 5:04 am |
      • or you need a better hobby

        pretty worthless

        September 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
  37. Nomad

    Charlotte my dear. You are spot on.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  38. Robert Meek

    I don't remember this happening recently, but I don't get out a lot anymore (oxygen @ home, disabled). Off hand, last time I do remember, was years and years and years ago, because I was in my first (of four) relationship, my parents, sister, cousin, and several aunts & uncles were still alive. Ages ago. We were at Burger King, somewhere, he and I were, and some man talked excessively very loudly, way about the need to, because there was no loud noise in the restaurant. It was as if he were shouting to call attention to himself. Back in those days, cell phones were rare. I think he was "proud" to show off that he had one, actually. I seethed, at the generalized interruption of my lunch environment, but said nothing directly to him. Nor did the poor souls closest to him, which amazes me even now, as we were all in line.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • Dr. McHammerpants

      I can tell you read a lot, based on your grammar and sentence structure. You also call attention to your lonliness, if even subliminally. Interesting post.

      September 11, 2010 at 9:46 am |
      • Mrs. McHammerpants

        Honey, come to bed, I've started with out you!!! If you don't hurry I'll finish and it'll be a sticky mess and I'll fall asleep, get off the computer!!!

        September 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • Bruce

      You should have held a lighter in front of your oxygen tank and aimed it at him.

      September 12, 2010 at 5:52 am |
  39. Charlotte

    If someone's cell rings in a restaurant I don't have trouble with them answering it and holding a very brief conversation (or a very quiet one – or better, both). If their behavior is unobtrusive then it's fine. The loud yammering shouted conversation is another matter. Honestly, would these people be yelling their personal, private matters out in public if the other party were sitting there at the table with them? Some, perhaps, but probably most would keep it down. The same should apply to anything on a cell, unless they will put it on speaker so we can all hear the ENTIRE conversation, LOL! I really like the "It's a telephone, not a megaphone" line, I will remember THAT one. Sometimes Clever gets a better response than Basic ("shut up").

    September 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • polyhedron

      You are assuming that the 'talker' knows the meaning of the word 'megaphone.'

      September 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  40. Young Sinatra

    All good restaurants SHOULD begin banning TALKING on cell phones...Text only.

    September 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • artist36

      Why stop there? I mean, they should ban TALKING in all it's forms if talking is making YOU so annoyed right? *Rolls eyes*

      It's no different than having someone there face to face really.

      September 11, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • Kelly

      Or clinking forks and knives on dinner plates. MAN that is so annoying!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  41. stealth

    It wasn't in a restaurant but on a crowded commuter train where a loud talker was on their phone yelling to her boss as to why she's going to be late to a meeting. The train has to be delayed b/c a building collapsed near the station & they had to make sure everything was secure. This conversation kept going on for sometime when I turned to the woman & said it's a telephone, not a megaphone. She got the picture & kept her voice down.

    September 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Kat

      I used to see this on the commuter train all the time. One realtor revealed everything about her client's finances during a cell phone conversation. I hope someone contacted her client and told him/her. It is just plain rude. No matter where it happens. A friend making the drive from Phoenix to San Diego today called to chat in an effort to stay awake. I was in a checkout line and told her I'd call her right back. I called her when I got to the car. No need to slow everyone down and be rude to everyone else around me.

      September 11, 2010 at 4:59 am |
      • Amazed

        Wow how very considerate of you! You waited to get distracted till you started to guide 2000 lbs of car. How very considerate of you to be an anonymous jerk on the road. And your friend, for trying to stay awake while driving by yapping on the phone. What could possibly go wrong?

        September 12, 2010 at 11:26 am |
      • Readb4YouWrite

        She didn't say she DROVE the car while talking to her friend. She said she waited until she was IN the car. No point in going off on someone when you don't really know what happened. You might have been yapping at THE most considerate cell phone user in the country. How about reading what people actually wrote and then flying off the handle?

        September 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  42. Angela

    I once made a cell phone call in the bathroom of a restaurant...while I was on the toilet. The person I called thought it was so funny we both got the giggles, and I had to stay in there until my giggles subsided. I was in there for a while...luckily there was no one else in the bathroom at the time.

    September 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Everyone

      you are a freak.

      September 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
      • PairazzHilton

        Yes,but the little tinkling sound was very soothing to all involved-until they started laughing and farting!

        September 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
      • tinkling

        this conversation has gone to the toilet

        September 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Has anyone else ever told you that you need professional help?

      September 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
      • PairazzHilton

        Sorry,we were farting really loud,What did you say?

        September 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
      • farting

        I think you mom has called you to dinner

        September 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • Dr. McHammerpants

      I've made many-a-splash when on the celly. Nothing new. All this old are you? I'm guessing under 21, or raised in an extremely conservative/restricted household. My psycho-analysis.

      September 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
      • PairazzHilton

        Please stare into my large Brown Eye. Trees have age rings and so do mine.

        September 10, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        As long as it isn't smelly, I'll gaze all day. Unless it's Sunday. Football's on.

        September 11, 2010 at 9:41 am |
      • football

        too much time on your hands, idle time brings out this behavior, that and thinking about a large brown eye

        September 11, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • Maverick2591b

      Gotta love what Jeff Foxworthy said on the subject: "Dude, was that a flush? Are you in the bathroom?!? We were talkin' about Mom, man!!!"

      September 13, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  43. Rick McDaniel

    Truth is, I would like to watch the mass withdrawal symptoms, from disconnecting every cell phone tower in the US.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • Christellafella

      I so agree with you!!!!!

      September 12, 2010 at 8:25 am |
    • Linda Henley

      That would be absolutely cool!

      September 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • JAY

      It wont be pretty. Some people will freak out worse than a smoker without their cigarettes

      September 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
      • JAY

        Not me though. I can get by without my cell phone, I guess I would need to use good old fashioned land lines again if I needed to make a call.

        September 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
      • Phil

        If you are able to ensure emergency assistance of any kind w/o a cell phone, then by all means go for it!

        September 13, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  44. Truth

    I cannot stand cellphones in restaurants. At least kids have an excuse for whining, as they are kids. What is the 45 year old wannabe "Desperate Housewife's" excuse when she is yammering at the next table to her sister about why she should be taking a probiotic (true story)

    September 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  45. Leah (TXanimal)

    I honestly can't think of a time this has happened to me...I've seen people talking on phones in restaurant, but none were any louder than other diners talking to each other.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • artist36

      Exactly. This survey could have been better worded. Of course I don't like hearing loud conversations of any kind, but I don't have a problem with people chatting nonchalantly to each other either, in person OR on the phone. What does it matter?

      September 11, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  46. Ashley

    Geez, CNN! Please fix that annoying banner!!

    September 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  47. Erin

    I can't say I've ever been in a situation where there was loud person on the phone near me. Also, it's usally too loud in a restaurant to hear your phone, so I always go outside to answer it.

    September 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  48. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    I don't run into this too much. On the rare occasion I do, I usually just ask my guest to speak up cause I can't hear them. Very LOUDLY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE GUY ON THE PHONE.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • me

      You and me both. I start talking louder and louder till they get the picture.

      Sometimes I'll be asked to "keep it down, I'm on the phone"... my response – "Yeah, I know, we can't hear over your conversation, so we're compensating." LOL

      September 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
      • THG

        The sad thing is that almost all cell phones have volume controls. But since you cannot see the person, you talk way too loudly. It is very decent of those on calls that speak in a normal voice, and their calls seem to be heard easily. Many sill use the can and string yelling approach. They are offensive. And others want you to hear just how important they think they are by the volume of conversation. Manners are indeed lacking

        September 11, 2010 at 8:18 am |
      • Big Eddy

        @THG, you have the right idea, but the raised voice is not because the person on the phone can't see the person they are talking to. It's because they can't hear themselves in the phone! Next time you use a "regular" phone, notice that you hear your own voice in your ear as you talk. This provides feedback that results in a normal voice level, and has been part of the way telephones work since the very beginning, when early designers noticed that without this feedback, people were yelling unnecessarily into their phones.

        Next time you use your cell phone, notice that due to the different technology, you do not hear your own voice in your ear (regardless of the "volume" setting on the phone). You might as well be holding a brick up to your ear. The result is that people talk louder, thinking this is necessary to "get through". It isn't. As soon as the call is over and they return to their actual companions, their voice goes back down to a normal level.

        Old problem, same solution: change the design of cell phones so that the caller hears their own voice as they speak.

        September 12, 2010 at 6:56 am |
    • Joy

      Love that one, Jdizzle. LOL Will have to try that next time.

      September 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  49. Evil Grin

    I think it's perfectly appropriate to ask the waiter or waitress to ask the loud patron to take his cell phone outside until the conversation. Most often, though, that doesn't seem to help. So it's "suffer in silence" for me.

    I remember once eating lunch very quickly because of the person in the next booth. She was buying a house. I know that because she called her agent, her husband, her sister (SQUEELZ) and then her husband again, and then her agent. I know how much the house was, how much she was going to finance for, when she and her husband were going to sign papers. I didn't need to know that.

    I found it pretty rude.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Robert Meek

      It's not rude.

      It's downright uncouth. That's what it is. Tacky and uncouth.

      There's a difference. IMHO, tacky and uncouth is worse. Rude can be unlearned. I don't think tacky and uncouth can, from my experiences of 53 years on this planet.

      September 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
      • artist36

        People talk to each other all the time. Why the heck does it matter that they are talking via a mobile phone? It doesn't bother you if they are talking face to face. If the only that bothers you is the loudness than state it. Don't label all cell phone users (coming from someone who rarely users a cell phone).

        September 11, 2010 at 12:08 am |
      • TheMovieFan

        artist36, read the article and you will get your answer.

        September 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
      • LW in AZ

        It's very ego-centric and inconsiderate. Same thing goes for texting in movie theaters. It's me, me, if they are not sharing their space with anyone else.

        September 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
      • Smart Potato

        Usually, they are twice as loud as a normal conversation. Do you really hear people yelling at each other AT the table? But get them on a cell, and they get LOUD. And detailed. They forget where they are. It's just rude–go outside. Everyone else is there to EAT, and enjoy each other.

        September 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  50. deathbydonuts

    if you're loud sit in the bar. That's where I always am, not because I'm loud though

    September 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Shirlee

      This has happened too often and if the cell phone user is sitting close I wait until they hang up then ask in my own loud voice some trivial question about their phone conversation so they know our table heard the whole conversation like " is Aunt Mildred doing? Is she still in the hospital?" I always mention how interested I was in listening in on what they were talking about. I think the "jerks" will aways be a "jerk" but it is kinda fun to tease them about their behavior.

      September 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
      • Me

        What's really funny is that I simply ignore drivel from people whom I don't know, like you. So if you made some off cuff remark to me about my phone conversation, I simply don't acknowledge your existence in any way. Guess you will look like you're talking to yourself, either way, I (as the person on the cell phone) don't care about you.

        September 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
      • Smart Potato

        I heart you. So many cell phone users are SO rude, as they don't get that people are out enjoy the company they are with, not hear the gross details about strangers who are too loud on their phones–being rude to their OWN company. I just ask to be moved, and when I am moving, I tell the person, "Thanks a lot."

        September 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
      • Joe

        That seems way more annoying than a cell phone conversation. Not to mention awkward.

        September 13, 2010 at 7:52 am |
      • Brian

        I usually wait for them to end the conversation, walk by their table, grab the phone and place it in whatever drink is on their table. Works every time.

        September 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
      • bridget

        so, you teach them they were being a jerk by being a jerk yourself. very clever.

        September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Storm

      I bought a cell phone jammer and I just shut their phone off!!

      September 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
      • Jeff

        I want a cell phone jammer, where can I get one?

        September 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
      • Paul

        If you really are operating a cell phone jammer you are committing a federal crime and may be subject to prosecution. I make a point of reporting such things to the FCC and the cell phone companies. Please remember 2 things – first you don't know the full range of your jammer – it very likely will extend beyond your property and interfere with nearby space – you might even cut off someone's 911 call someday. 2nd – you don't own the airwaves – they are public property and the cell phone companies have relieved your tax burden on the order of billions of dollars. You are stealing something that is not yours. Your business will be snuffed out if they find you. The only legal way you can accomplish your goal is passive interference such as building a wiremesh into your walls to block signals.

        September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
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