Perhaps this is more of a “big picture” life question than something specific to airports and airplanes. Heck, maybe I just need to see a therapist and figure out why this gets on my nerves so much. I figure I’m not alone, though, so I’m curious how the OMAAT community feels about this…
In this post:
Frustration with people not using headphones in public
For some reason, a surprising number of people think it’s appropriate to do various activities without headphones in public — this includes video calls, playing video games, watching TV shows, or even blasting music.
Frankly I don’t get it. At all. I don’t expect the whole world to be like Japan, but how is it that people think this is appropriate? It’s bad enough to do this in public or in a terminal, but it’s even worse to do it on a plane (which is a confined space where you can’t leave) or an airport lounge (which is supposed to be a place to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of the terminal).
While the noise is frustrating enough as is, I think what really gets to me is how selfish it comes across. What goes through someone’s mind when they watch TV clips on their phone at full volume without headphones? As someone who lives in Miami, I find this to be much more of an issue when flying to & from here than in most other markets. It’s almost just an accepted practice.
Some examples from today…
Let me share a few examples of what I’m talking about from today, all of which took place before 7AM. While waiting to enter the Amex Centurion Lounge Miami, there was someone else waiting to enter who was sitting on his bag and listening to Cardi B’s “WAP” without headphones. I have absolutely nothing against the music as such, but without headphones?!
Then once in the lounge, I sat near someone who was conducting a video call without headphones, so I promptly moved.
Once onboard my flight, the guy seated next to me started watching videos of soccer game highlights. Since it was in Spanish, I got to hear that 30-second “GOAAAAAAAAL” being yelled constantly. Then after takeoff, someone a couple of rows from me started playing some sort of a shooting video game without headphones (or at least I assume that’s what it was, based on the sound).
How do you handle these situations?
I’m curious how y’all feel about this. Am I off base for finding not using headphones in public to be terribly inappropriate, or am I in the minority and need to get over myself?
Some might say “well just put on a pair of noise canceling headphones.” Practically speaking, that doesn’t work all that well. Noise canceling headphones typically do a great job canceling out consistent noises (like the sound of aircraft engines), while they don’t do a great job canceling out other audio, like people talking, music, etc.
If you’re as annoyed by this stuff as I am, what’s the correct way to deal with it? I’m a much more passive person than I used to be. I avoid conflicts at almost any cost, because I’m just damn tired and don’t think they’re worth it. But I also hate myself for not saying anything, if that makes sense.
So what’s the correct thing to do ?
- Not say anything, and just deal with it? That’s what I’ve been doing, but I’m also irked, so…
- Say something directly to the person? This would be the most satisfying, but is also most likely to lead to a confrontation, which I’m looking to avoid
- Bring it to the attention of the flight attendant and lounge staff? I hate putting them in an uncomfortable situation, and sometimes it can be hard to handle this subtly
- Buy headphones in bulk, and passive aggressively hand them out as needed? This actually seems sorta fun and productive 😉
- Take the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach, and simply blast something louder than the person who is being annoying, to prove a point? I can’t decide whether this would work well or lead to a bad situation
I recognize I’m probably not going to be able to change the world and get people to stop being so selfish. However, it feels good to at least be able to talk about it, in hopes of me not being alone in feeling this way.
For whatever reason, some people seem to think it’s totally acceptable to blast their phone calls, TV shows, music, and video games, for everyone on an airplane and in an airport to hear. The public at large not being terribly considerate of others is nothing new, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. But somehow this still really irks me…
Anyone else as annoyed by this practice as I am? If so, how do you deal with it, if at all?