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Why isnít being quiet in airports, on trains, etc. a social norm in the US?

Why isnít being quiet in airports, on trains, etc. a social norm in the US?

Old Mar 26, 23, 8:37 am
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Why isnít being quiet in airports, on trains, etc. a social norm in the US?

In the US, why isnít being quiet while traveling a social norm?

For example, if youíre in a crowded airport gate, in a crowded airport lounge or on a train, why is it considered perfectly acceptable to make non-time sensitive phone calls in a very loud voice (e.g., ďHey, Iím at the airport and figured Iíd give you a call and see what youíre up toĒ, said in a very loud voice.

Is it too hard for people in airport gates to try to keep their voices down, and for people in these situations to make only necessary phone calls?

Recently, I was at an airport gate and a woman was yelling into her cell phone, talking about some very, very personal matters. I went over to her and handed her some earphones and said, ďIn case youíd like some privacy, please feel free to have these.Ē The lady got really excited and started yelling into her cell phone that she had just been given free headphones and then she continued yelling on the call as her conversation partner explained how to put the earphones on.

Surely if being loud in crowded public places while traveling were taboo, it would help generally.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 8:54 am
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Because Americans generally aren't quiet and usually aren't the most aware of how their actions impact others. It also depends on who you are speaking to - almost everyone in my family is elderly, so I have to speak loudly, both in-person and on the phone, so that they can understand me.

Now, honestly, why talk on the phone at an airport gate? American airports are usually very loud with constant announcements and beeping - I have made many phone calls to pass the time as I know my voice is not going to be the aspect that will prevent others from relaxing. I also, of course, make sure to stay away from anyone sleeping or having their own phone conversation.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast
I have made many phone calls to pass the time as I know my voice is not going to be the aspect that will prevent others from relaxing. I also, of course, make sure to stay away from anyone sleeping or having their own phone conversation.
But any cell phone conversation at a crowded airport gate is still more noise, and even if someone isn't sleeping or having a phone conversation, it can be extremely irritating. Why not just listen to music or do anything other than talk on the phone?
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Old Mar 26, 23, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
But any cell phone conversation at a crowded airport gate is still more noise, and even if someone isn't sleeping or having a phone conversation, it can be extremely irritating. Why not just listen to music or do anything other than talk on the phone?
Why should what 1 person finds irritating dictate what hundreds, maybe thousands, of others do? Airports are public places, and as long folks aren't committing a crime, delaying or interfering with the operations of the airport and airlines, attacking or insulting others, maybe MYOB is the best policy.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 10:30 am
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Why isn't being quiet in airports and trains a thing in the US?? Because it is not Japan.

PS-ever been to China?
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Old Mar 26, 23, 10:31 am
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Americans are loud. In general.
I’ve seen / heard loud talkers when in China as well when on a local train (hangzhou to yiwu).

actually I can think of loud people in Italy, Germany, uk, Ireland, and Spain. Maybe not France.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler
Why should what 1 person finds irritating dictate what hundreds, maybe thousands, of others do? Airports are public places, and as long folks aren't committing a crime, delaying or interfering with the operations of the airport and airlines, attacking or insulting others, maybe MYOB is the best policy.
It's not just "1 person [who] finds [cell phone calls] irritating":

Why Overheard Cell Phone Conversations Are So Annoying | TIME.com

Why Are Public Cell Phone Users So Annoying? | Psychology Today

If you do something that is generally irritating to others...don't do it; that's basic courtesy.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg
Why isn't being quiet in airports and trains a thing in the US?? Because it is not Japan.

PS-ever been to China?
The train was loud - Iíve also taken the bus which was NOT loud although there was a loud movie :-)
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Old Mar 26, 23, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg
PS-ever been to China?
I suspect a very tonal language(s) has a lot to do with it (elevated volume).
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Old Mar 26, 23, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
But any cell phone conversation at a crowded airport gate is still more noise, and even if someone isn't sleeping or having a phone conversation, it can be extremely irritating. Why not just listen to music or do anything other than talk on the phone?
If something is "extremely irritating," you could always get up and move. I would not sit or stand next to something I found "extremely irritating." I get up and move around at airports all the time - primarily because I prefer to not be in close proximity to others when there are usually many empty spaces.

As for why people would choose to talk on the phone, they might be reconnecting with loved ones, conducting business, etc. - again, if something bothers you, you can remove yourself from the situation, especially in large spaces like airports.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast
If something is "extremely irritating," you could always get up and move. I would not sit or stand next to something I found "extremely irritating." I get up and move around at airports all the time - primarily because I prefer to not be in close proximity to others when there are usually many empty spaces.

As for why people would choose to talk on the phone, they might be reconnecting with loved ones, conducting business, etc. - again, if something bothers you, you can remove yourself from the situation, especially in large spaces like airports.
No.

If someone is going to act in a way that irritates others, it's on the person to change his or her ways, and to act less irritatingly. And, no, if you're at an airport gate, particularly shortly before departure or in case of IRROPS, you can't easily move.

Being irritated by loud cell phone calls is a widespread view.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 12:49 pm
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You've posted about this topic a few times. I am not sure you will ever get a satisfactory answer. I suppose, like all things with travel, there are certain annoyances we either have to get used to, or avoid experiencing.

I find people watching endlessly fascinating. Especially in airports. Everyone is staring at a phone, but I remember to put mine down and observe. Some conversations are hilarious. Some people are annoying. If I am annoyed, I will put on my headphones and listen to some nice music. Maybe working in a HS for a couple decades has given me a high tolerance level for conversations and noise.

People aren't going to change, so its probably a good idea to adapt to it.

Americans are a chatty bunch. Less than Spaniards, more so than Japanese. Its also cultural. Miami is always going to be more fun to me than Minneapolis or Denver, where people seem a lot more reserved.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
No.

If someone is going to act in a way that irritates others, it's on the person to change his or her ways, and to act less irritatingly. And, no, if you're at an airport gate, particularly shortly before departure or in case of IRROPS, you can't easily move.

Being irritated by loud cell phone calls is a widespread view.
Have you ever told someone that they are irritating you? I'm unsure what else you wish to accomplish other than constantly being upset. I don't think "America as a whole" is going to read your post and change its ways, and I can't imagine this happens to you that many times. If it does, you can either confront the loud talkers personally and risk whatever altercation comes of that, or you could avoid traveling to the US.
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Old Mar 26, 23, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast
Have you ever told someone that they are irritating you? I'm unsure what else you wish to accomplish other than constantly being upset. I don't think "America as a whole" is going to read your post and change its ways, and I can't imagine this happens to you that many times. If it does, you can either confront the loud talkers personally and risk whatever altercation comes of that, or you could avoid traveling to the US.
All I ask:

If the lounge rules require using earphones and prohibit using a device on speaker: follow the rule.

If youíre in a crowded gate: donít yell and if a call isnít necessary, consider texting or emailing or having the call later.

Iíve gone up to multiple cell phone yellers in airport lounges and handed earphones to them and said, ďMay I offer you some earphones, in case youíd like some privacy?Ē

Every single time, the person has said thank you and every single time but one, the person either lowered her voice or started using them (and in the one time when the person didnít, she seemed happy to get free earphones and the person who she was talking to started helping her use them).

Iíve also checked with the staff at my gym and then gone up to people who were yelling on cell phones and told them that cell phone use is not allowed, and every single time, the person ended the call.

In all of these places, yelling on cell phones is not allowed (and in the gym, cell phone calls are banned) and I am simply enforcing a rule.

Last edited by WeekendTraveler; Mar 26, 23 at 2:23 pm
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Old Mar 26, 23, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by mapleg
Why isn't being quiet in airports and trains a thing in the US?? Because it is not Japan.
are to even e
PS-ever been to China?
At least on metro systems in Chinese cities these days, it's uncommon to even hear people having normal conversations, much less being loud. Everyone is glued to their papers, screens or asleep, with headphones, in just like Japan!
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