Column: People should be more considerate of others when using their phones

People must be cognizant of the noise coming from their devices, especially while in public/campus.

Rachel Schnelle is freshman journalism major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about campus-wide problems for The Maneater.

College life can make you tired, stressed and homesick. Sometimes the only thing that can help is a phone call or a Facetime conversation from your mom or your next source of comfort. Since the start of class, it has been very common to see someone talking on the phone or using Facetime on the way to classes.

Both forms of communication are highly effective in terms of catching up with loved ones. Phone calls are quick and can get the point across easily. However, phone calls can still seem very distant and awkward. This is why some people prefer video chat over phone calls.

This means that it allows you to have a conversation walking to class, or to your next event (of course with the use of headphones). This also means that it is common to see someone in the student center watching Netflix or playing games on their phone. While all of these forms of entertainment are fine, it can be distracting to those around them. The music and sound effects can easily leak through phones and become an annoyance.

When the major manufacturers of smartphones, such as Apple or Samsung started allowing people to use headphones for phone calls or video chat these companies more than likely didn’t have intention of their users using their service in a busy public place. As someone who has replied to someone talking on the phone thinking their talking to them, it can be awkward situation. One can argue that this makes the bystander feel inferior and embarrassed. If someone is going to Facetime their friend or mom, they should have the decency to do it in a private area instead of a place where everyone can see it. It gives off the idea that what is happening around them is not as important as the two-minute conversation they’re about to have.

Better yet, if the conversation is important enough to have in the middle of a public place, it should be important enough to have in a room alone.

It seems like every time this happens to me, I’m doing homework or something that I need to be focusing on. Judging from personal experience, I think that it is important to think about the people around you before taking that phone call or video chat.. Empathy for others may not seem important in this situation, but it is. Video chatting and taking phone calls in public are comparable to other socially unacceptable things, such as talking loudly in a library.

I really didn’t have a problem with public Facetime and phone calls until I had personal experiences with the uncomfortableness of the situation. I experienced how awkward this situation was quite literally as I was writing this article in Memorial Union. The person video chatting clearly didn't understand that my glare at her meant that she needed to stop. Whether I am studying in Memorial Union, or walking the streets this problem seems to be rampant.

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