Cell Phone Rudeness: In the Public Restroom? Really?

Posted on June 13, 2012


I imagine we are all pretty tired of loud cell phone conversations in restaurants or train cars, or of seeing flashing screens among text-addicted moviegoers.  We may lament it, but we have become reluctantly accustomed to drivers yammering obliviously away on their phones as they weave from lane to lane.  We are not only barraged by random one-sided conversations, we are ignored by our distracted so-called friends, or our kids, or our significant others as they check scores or read texts during dinner or on a date.  And then there are those, like Globalfreeopinionator, who have noted the cold, impersonal nature of all this interaction with machines rather than people.

My latest peeve is those thoughtless people who carry on cell conversations in public restrooms.  You know the ones.  You’ll be in there wanting a little private time, and then some loud, cheery voice enters the restroom, yapping about something that really could have waited, and probably takes the stall right next to yours.  You are regaled with their half of some vapid conversation.  The restroom is filled with the sounds of water running, those hand dryers blasting, toilets flushing, and maybe some other… uh… sound effects.  Does anyone really think for two seconds that the party on the other end of the phone doesn’t hear all that?  News flash, toilet conversationalists:  your friend knows you are sitting on the crapper.  Have you no sense of dignity?

And another thing:  just how are the toilet conversationalists juggling their phone with all their toilet-related activities?  No wonder cell phones are among the filthiest objects in our possession.  I mean, think about it:  these people are touching public restroom door handles and flush handles, not to mention certain other unmentionable tasks which really, really require handwashing afterward, all the while juggling their precious phones, which of course do not get washed.   I have yet to hear a cell phone suddenly go “kerploosh” and then hear the inevitable “Oh, ****,” but I would secretly derive great pleasure from such an event.

Now, clearly the toilet conversationalists see nothing wrong with carrying out their most intimate, germy  activities with someone on the other end of the line, or perhaps they have deluded themselves into thinking that their friends are too stupid to figure out what all those background flushing noises are.  But I see something very wrong with it:  isn’t this an auditory invasion of other people’s expectation of reasonable privacy?  I, for one, am not real keen on having an open phone line in the same room where I am doing my business.  Score another point for the death of common courtesy.

Oh joy.  I can’t wait for videophones to become the mobile communications standard.