Ask Laskas: Your Turn to Give Advice on Cell Phone Etiquette

Jeanne Marie Laskas writes our magazine's monthly advice column; now you help counsel this woman for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue.


A woman took her cell phone into a public restroom, and I listened to her conversation from the next stall. Apparently this did not bother the woman or the person on the other end of the phone. But it bothered me. Should I have said something?  — Seeking Privacy

 

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  • Your Comments

    • james parker

      No, you should say nothing.  When you go into public places, you will be exposed to annoyances by inconsiderate people. If you let them bother you, you are darkening your day. If you speak up, you ae wasting your time and energy.  The only way to avoid such incidents is to stay home. Don’t do that…grow by coping.

    • Michael D.

      There was no need to say anything.  The woman you mention may have been oblivious to your presence.  Unfortunately, many Americans are losing their sense of privacy.  From the moment we leave our homes, we are videoed, photographed, and voice-recorded in every public venue imaginable.  As a result, there is now a whole generation who take this for granted and don’t consider the need to practice discretion in almost any given situation.  All you can do, for now, is be content that you’re not one of them!

    • Michael D.

      There was no need to say anything.  The woman you mention may have been oblivious to your presence.  Unfortunately, many Americans are losing their sense of privacy.  From the moment we leave our homes, we are videoed, photographed, and voice-recorded in every public venue imaginable.  As a result, there is now a whole generation who take this for granted and don’t consider the need to practice discretion in almost any given situation.  All you can do, for now, is be content that you’re not one of them!

    • Michael Day

      There was no need to say anything.  The woman you mention may have been oblivious to your presence.  Unfortunately, many Americans are losing their sense of privacy.  From the moment we leave our homes, we are videoed, photographed, and voice-recorded in every public venue imaginable.  As a result, there is now a whole generation who take this for granted and don’t consider the need to practice discretion in almost any given situation.  All you can do, for now, is be content that you’re not one of them!

    • MJ

      If the woman and her caller are not concerned about sharing their personal information in any public arena then just let it in one ear and out the other.  The only time you should interject is if you hear a person is in danger, this is when you do need to speak up.

    • MJ

      If the woman and her caller are not concerned about sharing their personal information in any public arena then just let it in one ear and out the other.  The only time you should interject is if you hear a person is in danger, this is when you do need to speak up.

    • Sandstar6981

      I do not like to listen in on other people’s business but apparently it does not bother the folks who use their phones in the bathroom. If this is a work area, then you know that cell phones have to be turned off and a bathroom break is the only time a person can give a call back on something that can be very important. Also, I think that most people do not think a one-way conversation that you would hear can be that annoying or give out personal details. Anyway, I would not say anything because the caller might answer back “why were you listing to my call in the first place!

    • Leia B.

      If the women talking on the phone were using profane language, then I would have been offended and possibly said something. Otherwise though, I’m not going to a public bathroom for peace and quiet!  I going in there, getting my business down and leaving!  So, what’s the problem? 

    • Terileyh

      No. Would you say something to two people talking at the sink outside the stall? Why do you care? Just do your biz and move on. It’s really none of your business.

    • Michele Ricks

      This used to annoy me too, when cell phones were becoming all the rage.  But now it doesn’t bother me at all, in fact I have come to realize with the hustle and bustle of busy places, like where public restrooms obviously are, noisy kids, family talking, etc., sometimes the only place to get a few private moments to make a phone call IS in the restroom stall. Don’t say anything, just do your business, flush and be done with it.  There are much more annoying things people do in public than this!