More writing from Brian Libby

« Going to my Happy Place | Main | Clyde Drexler »



If someone were talking to another person next to them, making the same amount of noise as the walkie-talkie was making, would you think anything of it? Of course not. It seems like you are absolutely furious over a noise just because it's coming from a device, rather than an actual person. Restaurants are loud, and people talk to each other, what does it matter if someone is instead talking over a phone?


I've grown up over the last 30 years conditioned to human voices to the degree that I can filter it out. But the walkie talkie makes a completely different sound, one that's often louder and at least to me more distracting. It's just like when a cop is nearby and you hear their CB going. You're right that it's just a voice, but to me it's more jarring and doesn't belong.


I have to agree with Brian on this one. Imagine if someone sat next to you in a restaurant and turned on a talk show on their transistor radio. Wouldn't you think that rude? Of course you would. Actually, if someone just talking was making as much noise as a walkie talkie, I might not think they were rude, but I bet I would think they were obnoxious.


I suppose unlike most people, none of the above would bother me. I just think it's unfair to demand that people in a public place meet your own, sometimes grossly unfair, expectations. Maybe a walkie talkie is excessive (although I personally don't care in the slightest), but if you're in a place that is noisy to begin with, I don't understand what it is about another, albeit different noise that makes you so irate.


It's all about how your brain is conditioned. Think of Pavlov's dog, who salivated instantly at the sound of a bell after Pavlov would always ring it just before feeding the dog. There are sounds people here they are familiar with, and other sounds that, even if they're no louder than what else they hear, register more. So while it may seem illogical for one to hear and be annoyed by walkie-talkie that's no louder than the usual din of people talking, my brain picks up and responds to (in a negative way) the artificial sound of a walkie talkie. When I argued that sound was inappropriate for introducing in restaurants, it was under the assumption, which Sara you've proven partially false, that most people would feel the same way. I think people of your generation are more conditioned to cell phones and walkie talkie phones than people my age or older may be. So I think what I'm saying may be generally an accurate gauge of public opinion but, as you've pointed out, certainly not an exclusively held feelign.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter
    Blog powered by Typepad