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Why Mobile Phones Are Annoying

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the because-they-don't-reliably-explode dept.

Communications 519

griffinn writes "Jakob Neilsen recently conducted a study comparing the perceived annoyance level of two commuters having a face-to-face conversation and one commuter talking on the mobile phone. Interestingly enough, subjects were also asked whether the ring tone is annoying, and people didn't find the ring to be particularly bad."

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Spiegel ! (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846260)

Why Mobile Phones Are Annoying
Posted by timothy on Tuesday April 13, @01:33PM
from the because-they-don't-reliably-explode dept.
griffinn writes "Jakob Neilsen recently conducted a study comparing the perceived annoyance level of two commuters having a face-to-face conversation and one commuter talking on the mobile phone. Interestingly enough, subjects were also asked whether the ring tone is annoying, and people didn't find the ring to be particularly bad."

^^ That isn't me, BTW. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846285)

ror

Mobile phones !! (0, Troll)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846262)


Try this [mobileasses.com]

Ringtones (4, Funny)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846263)

The ringtones arent the bad part.
The bad part is the loud speakers that really dont need a phone in the first place.

Can you hear me now? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846265)

Switch to Verizon and you won't have to keep yelling can you hear me now. No seriously - CDMA [wikipedia.org] which is used by Verizon and Sprint have positive feedback meaning that the phone continually transmits and receives; so what you say but what happens is you hear background noises [arcx.com] and you perceive mentally that the person has your complete attention.

With other vendors that use TDMA [wikipedia.org] such as ATT, Cingular, TMobile they have to electronic introduce background noise because this technology doesn't continually transmit. They introduce clicks and pops to simulate background noise. This gives you the perception that you have to yell to keep the other persons attention.

My anus is being attacked by a tentacle!!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846267)

ror!

Ringtones? (5, Interesting)

ImpiousPunk (763114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846271)

How are those damn ring tones NOT annoying? "Hey look how cool I am with my 50 cent ring tone!" What ever happened to a plain phone, that rings, vibrates and stores contact information. I find the whole ringtone /instant messaging and even the internet on my phone quite useless.

Re:Ringtones? (2)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846288)

I love having a phone that has net access.
It makes my day so much brigther.

Re:Ringtones? (5, Funny)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846297)

At least you can make fun of them for paying $0.99 for a 50 Cent ringtone.

Re:Ringtones? (5, Insightful)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846316)


I agree, those ringtones are damn annoying.

However, I've come to realize the value of a unique ringtone. Often, when a cell phone goes off, everyone is pulling their phone out of their pocket, thinking Is it mine?. If your ringtone is different from the norm, then you can sit their with a smug smile on your face whilst others are checking their phones.

Using only plain ringtones, its rather difficult to be able to have a somewhat unique ringtone. Having musical ringtones makes that option much more accessible.

Still, I would much prefer to have short musical scores rather than long rings. And I agree, it is annoying, but I think of it as a necessary evil if I want my own ringtone.

If someone can think of another way to allow for seemingly endless variety in ringtones, I'd take that option any day.

Re:Ringtones? (4, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846344)

If someone can think of another way to allow for seemingly endless variety in ringtones, I'd take that option any day.

Text-To-Speech: "Mr. ComboyNeal, telephone for you, Sir" in a husky female voice. Many phones already have loudspeaker abilities and advanced ring tone generation. Use them for good instead of evil.

Re:Ringtones? (3, Interesting)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846317)

It may be useless to you, but it isn't useless to the cellphone provider, who more than likely charges some fee for every ringtone downloaded and ever IM sent or recieved.

Normally you can go down the list of features on a new cellphone, and almost all of them will make the provider money in some way or another.

Re:Ringtones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846318)

I don't mind the ring tone. It's a sort of alarm, alerting you to the fact that there's a potential sociopath nearby.

Re:Ringtones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846323)

Are phones with polyphonic ringtones common in the United States yet?

If you haven't, then you're in for a whole new experience in extreme irritation. Behold, the tuneless fake orchestral renditions of classical music! The ear-flatulence of the latest pop songs!

Seriously, they annoy me, and I'm normally placid and mild-mannered. But when someone's ultra-modern phone starts ringing, I just want to shove it where the sun doesn't shine. And I don't mean Belgium...

Re:Ringtones? (3, Insightful)

pogle (71293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846328)

I swear. They asked the wrong people if they didn't get results that the ringtones are annoying. People choose the most obnoxious ringtones imaginable and pump them out as loud as those little phones are able.

People really need to learn to use the vibrate function more often and spare the rest of us. I know the only time my phone makes any noise is when the battery is low, and thats only because I can't turn that particular beep off. Its a courtesy thats sadly lacking, keeping cell phones discreet and quiet.

Re:Ringtones? (2, Interesting)

1nhuman (597328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846402)

When I got my new SE630 phone, my first phone with polyfonic ringtones, I finally got the change to get the ringtone I always wanted, a good old solid ringgggggg... ringggggg... ringggggg... Not the beeping kind, but the real old school one: like this one [jct.ac.il]

Re:Ringtones? (4, Troll)

robotoverflow (738751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846419)

Text messaging isn't useless when you want to tell someone something that can be said in a few words like "be there in 15" without having to engage in unimportant conversation and annoy people around you.

To compare, how many people do you hear making calls to say something like "be there in 15", then keep talking for a solid 5 or 10 minutes? I get this all the time when i'm on the train and it bugs the crap out of me, even more so when it's a person sitting right next to me talking so loudly that I can hear their entire conversation though my headphones.

Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846272)

How about a study showing the time delay from when a cellphone rings in the theater to when people get mad, measured in milliseconds. In L.A. it must be higher than here,because we get people from there talkin on phones like it's their job, IN the theater, DURING the movie.

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (2, Funny)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846300)

Well, there is a "Scary Movie" way to handle that problem ;)

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (2, Funny)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846330)

As a matter of fact: I never had a phone go off in a theater.

Are folks really that dumb in LA not to turn off the phone, or at the very minimum set it to silent when they go to watch a movie?

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846377)

You're lucky then. I went to see Shaun of the Dead on Friday (in the UK), and someone a row or two behind me had their phone go off. Not only that, but they answered it; luckily (for all concerned) they didn't speak for very long.

Are folks really that dumb in LA

Believe me, stupidity and lack of consideration for those around you is hardly unique to LA...

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (5, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846393)

Well, I do everytime I go to the movies. Or better said, the last ad they pass just before the main movie is sponsored by a cellphone service provider. It used the THX surround system to make different cellphone ringtones come from about anywhere in the theather. It's a cacaphony of cellphones. When it's over on the screen they display "The movie is now beginning, please turn off your cellphone (sponsored by $CELLHONE_COMPANY).".

I have never heard a real cellphone go off after that ad.

Apparently... yes! (5, Funny)

FunkyRat (36011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846396)

I occassionally do some work for a person who works as a producer in Los Angeles. So far, she has answered her cellphone at a museum, at a classical music concert, while in meetings and on a date. The last time I called her she mentioned after about three minutes that she was at a movie theater, watching a movie. I asked her why she even bothered to answer her mobile. I think she was actually dumbfounded that anyone would not answer their phone when it rang.

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (1)

anonicon (215837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846428)

Off-topic, but...

Yes, people in L.A. are that dumb. For a more complete analysis of just how widespread it is, pick up the book "If Chins Could Kill" by Bruce Campbell (literally, pick it up - buy it later if you want) and browse to the section where he and the Raimi brothers are in L.A. trying to get distribution for Evil Dead I. It's baaaaaaaddd...

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846401)

Hell, I went to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and some guy in my row was sitting there text messaging with his cell phone througout the entire movie. Why he even bothered paying the $10 for the movie ticket is beyond me. Quite sad really.

Re:Cell phone annoyance time in theaters (1)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846436)

How about keeping this aside as a /. poll and have some fresh polls without much delays...I am getting tired of refreshing my browser and finding the same poll :(

They're annoying because... (5, Insightful)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846274)

I beleive people tend to talk louder while on a cellphone. They repeat themselves over and over. "Can you hear me? I said..." People will talk on a cellphone without regard to their "real life" companion... sometimes I feel as if I'm not really there when someone gets involved in a conversation. And its annoying because, when I want to listen in, I only hear half of the conversation!! :-) Just my US$0.02

Re: They're annoying because... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846321)


> I beleive people tend to talk louder while on a cellphone. They repeat themselves over and over. "Can you hear me?

That's just a commercial, silly.

Re:They're annoying because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846326)

RTFA, they controlled for volume.

Re:They're annoying because... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846350)

RTFA, they controlled for volume.

Yeah, because the people who talk on cell phones do this too, right?

Two way (3, Interesting)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846333)


I agree. What's even more annoying is those two way plans that work like walkie talkies. In such a situation, not only do you have to listen to the person talking but also their companion over the phone.

" when I want to listen in, I only hear half of the conversation "
Trust me, unless you are with a friend who's talking to another friend, you really don't.

Not Nielsen's Study (2, Insightful)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846275)

If it was a Nielsen study it would have said that "most people" feel a certain way, where "most people" is a pseudonym for "Jakob Nielsen".

Re:Not Nielsen's Study (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846384)

Jakob Nielsen ought to study why Jakob Nielsen is annoying.

Ringers not most annoying? I think not. (2, Insightful)

enigma32 (128601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846276)

On the contrary. I believe most would find the ring tone to be most annoying.

As I regularly deal with theatrical performances of all different natures I see the dismay that people have for the damn things-- Even different amounts of annoyance with different ringtones.
The more bubbly and in-your-face, the more people become agitated if the phone isn't shut-up immediately.

Re:Ringers not most annoying? I think not. (1)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846302)

That reminds me of something I forgot earlier... Those who don't (or don't know how) to turn their phone to "silent" when in a theatre or other quiet zone.

Re:Ringers not most annoying? I think not. (5, Insightful)

Tooky (15656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846358)

On the contrary. I believe most would find the ring tone to be most annoying.

The funny thing is that they have done a controlled study, and you haven't. No matter what you believe until you actually do a controlled study you're opinion would seem to be wrong.

First Ninnle Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846279)

Ninnle ninnle ninnle ninnle
BATMAN!

There are only two really annoying things.... (1, Redundant)

gusbee2000 (659459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846280)

When those old guys get a cell phone and think they need to scream into the headset, and everyone around them can hear.... And you know everyone wants to tell them, "dude, there's no need to scream...." And the other annoying thing is when people have those old original tunes on their phone. Like before phones tones can be somewhat recognizable.... And your like damn, could this guy turn it up anymore? And then he's trying to explain to everyone that it's "You know that song that goes... Hey, Yah!, Heyyyyy YAHHH!"

In soviet russia...... (-1, Troll)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846281)

.....cellphones slap you round the face to get your attention.

I hate it... (4, Insightful)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846283)

I can't stand when someone has a cell phone conversation and speaks too loud. It's as if these people are trying to let everyone else know that they are "cool" and talk so loud that you can pretty much follow thier conversation, even though you are only hearing one side. I think it's funny too the people that pimp through the mall with the high-tech headset attatched. Usually these are the people that appear not to have a dime to thier name, but somehow still have the most expensive phone on the market. I wish people on cell phones would be more courteous, and only take calls where acceptable, and then only speak as loud as they need too.

--
Retail Retreat [retailretreat.com]

Re:I hate it... (5, Insightful)

iammrjvo (597745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846320)


I wish people on cell phones would be more courteous, and only take calls where acceptable, and then only speak as loud as they need too.

My general rule of thumb is to move to a place where a pay phone (for those of us old enough to know what that is) would naturally be placed and then talk as if I were on a pay phone.

For example, in the airport find a spot in a hallway or in a corner and turn your back to the crowd. In a restaurant (even a fast food restaurant), take the call and quickly move outside or to a deserted area.

It just shows respect for those around you.

Re:I hate it... (2, Interesting)

jezreel (261337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846375)

I always thought that there is some psychological thing involved, like your sub-consciousness knowing that the person you're talking to is physically far away from you, thus making you rise your voice. Same as screaming into the speaker for intercontinental calls etc. And you need to think about the multitasking too. Walking through a mall trying to avoid people while having a descent conversation can be distracting. Though I have to admit that there are still a few snobs trying to tell the world how cool they are here.

Is there any official name for this phenomenon? Same as screaming into the speaker for intercontinental calls etc.

Re:I hate it... (1)

wizrd_nml (661928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846392)

It's only a novelty to someone who doesn't have a mobile phone. If you get one, the novelty will quickly wear off and it will soon become a practical way to communicate.

i's pronounced karate (-1, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846287)

don't worry i got a MILLION minutes

Cell phone courtesy is easy... (3, Insightful)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846290)

My "ringer" is set to vibrate - wherever I am, because other people don't need to hear the ringing. When I'm in a bookstore, library or restaurant, if I take or make a call I either walk out to the lobby, or find a place where others aren't. And I wear a headset when I drive, but I still see tons of people breaking my state's cell phone law, despite an alleged "ticket blitz."

Re:Cell phone courtesy is easy... (2, Funny)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846309)

" My "ringer" is set to vibrate "

Oh I tried that, but the stain on trousers is so embarassing....

So that explains it (5, Funny)

violet16 (700870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846293)

Furthermore, the actors conducted half of the conversations at a normal loudness level, whereas the other half were exaggeratedly loud (as measured on a volume meter)

I think these guys have been conducting this experiment on the train I catch to work for the last two years.

Used to have knight rider now I have classic (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846294)

Speaking of annoying ring tones..I used to have the knight rider theme, then one day my phone randomly reset to the classic rotary phone sound. Everyone that hears it thinks it's really cool. It's a really well done tone.

The most annoying sound is people who have holiday songs turned all the way up. For instance - we wish you a merry christmas going off in Lord Of The Rings!!!

Re:Used to have knight rider now I have classic (1)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846349)

The most annoying sound is people who have holiday songs turned all the way up. For instance - we wish you a merry christmas going off

Supermarkets do that as well... they call that Muzak.

Even worse was that while shopping just before one Christmas, I kept hearing this most annoying ...jingle ... jingle ... jingle ... increasing and decreasing in volume regardless of where I went, but constantly out of sight. It turns out, store management wanted all the customers to know where the nearest sales agent was ... so they all had to dress up as elves (red/green) and wear a ring of small bells around their necks if not on their shoes.

Re:Used to have knight rider now I have classic (1, Funny)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846427)

> Everyone that hears it thinks it's really cool.

I call your bluff on that one.

Who they kidding? (2, Funny)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846295)

"Interestingly enough, subjects were also asked whether the ring tone is annoying, and people didn't find the ring to be particularly bad." ..In related news, Hell freezes over!

Re:Who they kidding? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846299)

ror!!

Insensitive clods... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846296)

...in Soviet Russia, cellphones answer YOU!

my pet hate (-1, Interesting)

Face the Facts (770331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846298)

What I hate the most is people with those hands free mobile ear/microphone sets. One of my colleagues whom I unfortunately have to work with alot has this annoying tendency to transition into a phonecall in the middle of a conversation. It annoys the hell out of everybody who has to deal with him since he has his phone switched to silent mode so there is no hint when somebody calls him, (which happens alot) causing him to drift off into a converstion whoever is on the phone and completely loose any interest in whoever he was talking to before. I don't think I have ever finsihed a conversation with that dude

Re:my pet hate (2, Funny)

librex (562462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846348)

question is :

why bother start a conversation with an asshole in the first place? If you want to speak with him (as he's your colleague after all...), just call him on his cell phone. Works like a charm.

cheers,

-Lr-

Re:my pet hate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846365)

I don't think I have ever finsihed a conversation with that dude

That might be because you never start any novel conversation.

MODERATORS: read this guy's posting history and perhaps you'll realize he's recycling posts and karma-whoring like there's no tomorrow.

Re:my pet hate (2, Funny)

wizrd_nml (661928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846405)

That has got to be the most annoying thing ever! There was this one time...

hold on let me get this call...

simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846439)

next time this guy comes over to talk to you, wait until the conversation has started then turn around and start a brief conversation with someone else.

Very interesting hypotehsis... (3, Interesting)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846303)

I rather like their hypothesis that people pay more attention to half a conversation than a full one and it seems it may be dead on. While I don't particularly listen in on others' conversations, I know I definitely overhear a cell conversation, even at normal volume, because having only half the conversation seems to leave my brain wondering and pondering the other half more.

Although, I can't believe they don't think the rings are annoying. I just wish a phone could have at least one decent normal ringer now... I don't want a song, but there really aren't options other than those now. The most recent phone we bought was for my fiance and all the rings it came with were songs. We figured we'd download something normal and only found more songs. Ultimately, we just picked the song ringer that sounded the least annoying.
-N

Re:Very interesting hypotehsis... (3, Insightful)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846403)

I find it funny that the ringtone on my mobile is set to sound like one of those ooooold phones that actually had a bell inside of it. So my mobile phone sounds more like a "phone" than the beepy-ring thing that the handset plugged into my laneline does.

Now if I could just find a kind of antique-finished retro looking mobile phone that was still small, with maybe a metal casing instead of the uber-futuristic blinky plastic crab... that would be spiffy.

tech toon that captures the essence of the article (1)

BobWeiner (83404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846304)

Reading this article reminded me of a tech toon I drew about the same subject. Here it is [pcweenies.com] . Of course, my inspiration was being stuck at an airline gate waiting to come home. Enjoy!

The annoying part (2, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846305)


is the loud speakers. I used to see the same thing with construction supervisor types in restaraunts with radiophones, back before the modern mobils became possible. Now they do it with mobile phones, along with lots of other people who never had access to a radiophone.

And of course, some people talk at the top of their voice even when they're sitting face-to-face with the people they're talking to. (And have a tendency to be complaining about their family problems or some other crap you particularly don't want to hear.)

The ringers are annoying during a movie, concert, lecture, exam, etc., but much more often it is the overly loud yakking that annoys. I hate sitting in a restaraunt and having to raise my voice to talk to someone at the table with me because someone four tables away is hollering into a cell.

Correction (5, Informative)

griffinn (240043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846306)

The study was done by Monk et al. Nielsen's story is merely an abstract.

Original article: Andrew Monk, Jenni Carroll, Sarah Parker, and Mark Blythe: "Why are Mobile Phones Annoying?" Behaviour and Information Technology, vol. 23, no. 1, 2004, pp. 33-41.

It's the people on the phones (4, Funny)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846310)

I don't know how many times a wanker with one of those walkie-talkie phones has ruined a meal for me. I have been tempted to stand behind the person making comments as if he/she is in a massage parlor, not at lunch, as a way of revenge. I haven't done it, though.

Yet.

However, one time I was in a bathroom and the guy in the next stall took a call on his cell phone. I immediately made all sorts of grunting, straining, and moaning noises as if I were trying to pass a moose. He hung up after twenty seconds, and before he could say anything to me, I thanked him and returned to the quiet matter at hand.

Re: It's the people on the phones (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846343)


> one time I was in a bathroom and the guy in the next stall took a call on his cell phone. I immediately made all sorts of grunting, straining, and moaning noises as if I were trying to pass a moose.

You should have laughed and said "That's a mighty short pee-pee you've got there, stranger!"

Well, the ring's not the problem (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846311)

Interestingly enough, subjects were also asked whether the ring tone is annoying, and people didn't find the ring to be particularly bad."

The ringing isn't really the problem. The real problem is this:

john: so you see, I had to go see him yesterday.

Peter: yeah, I know what you mean [ring ring]. Hang on a sec there John... HELLO! YES! HI SWEETY HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? WHEEEERE?! CAN'T HEAR YOU, GOING UNDER A TUNNEL!! WHAAAT?

(Well, and of course the ringing)

Re:Well, the ring's not the problem (1)

Celt (125318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846360)

My girlfriend does this type of thing all the time, it does my head in big time! :-(

Personally (2, Insightful)

Viceice (462967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846312)

I think with the advances made in mobile technology, something should be done about informating people of a call in a manner that is not annoying to others.

Phones that just beep or emulate a land line phone ringing is acceptable, but I totally hate those 2 tone mangled excuses of popular music people call ring tones.

Take the vibrating alert.. Thats a good start. Why not improve on it? like make a little ring or bracelet or pen or whatever and make that vibrate too? Or maybe even a watch strap? It informs you of a call and is non annoying at the same time.

Re:Personally (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846337)

Take the vibrating alert.. Thats a good start. Why not improve on it? like make a little ring or bracelet or pen or whatever and make that vibrate too?

Two electrodes and a wristband would be a good attention-getter...

Why sould a ring tone be a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846325)

You can change default ring tone and in most new phones you can use WAV, MIDI or MP3 files as a ring tone.

Annyoing (1, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846329)

This study confirms what I have known for a long time, from my personal experience of being a curious, obsessive bastard. That is; mobile phone conversations are annoying mainly because you can only hear one side of the conversation. This makes you want to hear the other side of it, just to fill in the blanks.

Often, after hearing someone speaking a mobile phone, I just want to ask: 'OK, so what exactly were you talking about? I already know half of it, thank you very much - so tell me the rest or I'll kidney punch you!' Grrrrr ...

Re:Annyoing (1)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846368)

Strange, I find people insist on talking so much meaningless junk on mobile phones that you end up knowing every intimate detail of their lives..

Re:Annyoing (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846389)

True - but when that happens, the blank you want to fill is every intimate detail of the life of the person on the other side of the conversation, right? ;-)

Cool ringtones (-1, Redundant)

Hee Hee Hee (310695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846340)

I've got some great ringtones on my phone:

Gilbert Gottfried screaming "Oh my God! Answer me! Answer me! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!"

a recording of a fingernail clipper clipping away

sounds from a late 70's pr0n flick

check out my website for more cool ringtones!!

Re: Cool ringtones (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846374)


> I've got some great ringtones on my phone:

How 'bout the classic "Can you make time to talk to the President now?".

> sounds from a late 70's pr0n flick

The fake-sounding ooohs and aaahs, or the fake-sounding music?

volume (1)

noelo (661375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846341)

Wasn't there some research on the use of mob. phones which concluded that people raised their voices in response to the volume of noise that they were hearing on the handset e.g. the louder the caller talked the louder the calleree spoke. Would it be hard to put some code into the phone which would adjust the volume automatically depending on the gain of the source, like you can do with some mp3 converters so that no track seems louder the rest...

Cobining technologies? (1)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846342)

This technology [slashdot.org] along with a vibrator would solve the problem quite effectively.

You know what is annoying (3, Interesting)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846345)

It is that I cannot get a good cell phone anymore that doesn't come with a camera, so I have to decide to either leave my cell phone in the car while I am at work or get a dumbed down basic cell phone.

These manufactures really aren't thinking of the part of the market that buys the most cell phones, and that is the corporations, and most corporations have strict guidlines against cameras. So it really blows, and I hope they come to they senses and stop marketing to the teeny-boppers. At least they could put out comparable phone that doesn't have that camera.

Re:You know what is annoying (2, Insightful)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846406)

Because obviously a few thousand companies purchasing a few dozen phones each on average are a bigger market than a few million idiots who need a new phone every year.

Oh, wait: No.

I get a phone for free when I renew my subscription. I don't need a camera, but having one always with me is pretty neat, for the price. Your concern is obviously a valid one, but basic phones are widely available here in the Netherlands. While the US is quite backwards in the sense that you don't have a homogenous network across the nation, I can't imagine you don't have a full range of products.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846352)

tentacles are attacked by YOU!

It's because we like to eavesdrop (-1, Redundant)

Slashdot Hivemind (763065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846356)

Mobile phones only give us 1/2 the conversation

Here is South-East Asia (5, Interesting)

api_syurga (443557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846359)

In South-East Asia, where I am from, having a handphone is almost as important as being literate;you can't really live without it.You can but its hard to communicate long distance since public land-line phones are not well mantained and are in generally bad condition.Its no longer a matter of status/fashion statement.
This is why public cell-phone ethics is a serious issue here.In general, the older ones have a tendency to talk too loudly, however I do noticed that the younger generations have learnt to speak as unobtrusively as possible, maybe realising the phone-speaker can actually pickup their voice without having to shout across the room.

My 2 cents

Re:Here is South-East Asia (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846410)

Two questions:

  • Have the younger generations learnt not to pave about randomly in crowded streets whilst talking to their phones?
  • How do I emigrate? ;)

Re:Here is South-East Asia (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846425)

That should, of course, have been "... pace about randomly..." Who swapped the "submit" and "preview" buttons round! ;)

Carry a jammer (2, Funny)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846369)

They are small, unobtrusive and the chance of being caught is infinitesimally small.

Someone's pissing you off? Click it on and their signal vanishes. Sure they try to re-dial for 2 mins but as soon as it's apparent that their mobile just isn't working they stop.

Try living in Asia for a while... (5, Interesting)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846373)

Having lived for nearly a year in Shanghai, I'm all but immune to cellphones. As a matter of fact, I've been one of those people who not only leave their cellphone on in the theater, but actually take the time to answer if it rings. I kid you not, this is normal behavior here.

And why not? In China, as well as most parts of Asia, cellphones are not an annoyance in any way. They're just a part of life. I think in the West, cellphones were initially thought to be annoying because they were an obnoxious show of money, and this has carried on to this day. In China and South Korea, having a cellphone is part of life and is not considered as annoying.

Methink the people surveyed here thought a cellphone conversation was more annoying than a face-to-face conversation simply because it's, well, a cellphone conversation. We still tiptoe around cellphones in the West. For all I can see, this annoyance is purely cultural.

(Earlier today, I saw a perfect picture of modern-day Shanghai: in a sea of bicycles, a man riding, and a woman seated in the Chinese way in equilibrium on the back of the bike with both her legs on one side... And as the man pedals his old rusted bike, the girl behind her is merrily thumb-keying SMS messages to her friends.)

What gets me about cell phones (4, Interesting)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846376)

Someone walking down the street talking on a cell phone doesn't bother me, nor does someone sitting in a restaurant talking on a cell phone.

What REALLY bothers me is when I'm sitting in a presentation at a conference (or something like that) and they repeatedly ask that people turn off cell phones or set them to vibrate. Then, naturally, someone's phones has to ring half way through.

Now answer me this, what kind of fucked up individual sits there while someone clearly asks them to silence their phone and doesn't? What is the thought process? Is it "Well, everyone else is turning silencing their phones like they asked, but they couldn't have meant me" or is it more "I'm not going to silence my phone, I'll just assume that nobody will call me"? Or is it that these people somehow forgot that they HAVE a phone?

I've never understood this but it seems to happen every time. Almost as if making the announcement before a presentation to silence phones CAUSES one to ring eventually.

Oh, and the worst is when the phone is in some kind of bag or briefcase and the owner just ignores it like everyone around him doesn't know it is his and he doesn't want to give away that HE is the asshole. We all know it is your phone you goober, looking around like you are trying to figure out whos it is will not fool anyone so turn it off!

There, I feel better now.

Finkployd

Re:What gets me about cell phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846430)

We foundout that if we put "DONT DO ..." in the manual, alot of people called our helpdesk and had done "...". So we stopped printing it in the manual.

It's only a matter of habit (5, Interesting)

wizrd_nml (661928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846378)

Living in a country where mobile phone use is quite common and is not seen as being annoying in the least, it's quite strange for me to read all these posts about how they are perceived differently in the US.

Let me first start by saying that I agree mobile phone use does have its etiquette, and certain limits should be respected (i.e. volume of the ring tone in a quiet place, such as a library).

But I really think it's only a matter of habit. I believe if an American lived in Sweden for a while (a country with one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates), they would quickly get used to hearing phones ringing and people talking on them all the time, without feeling necessarily annoyed. It's the constant reinforcement by others in US society that mobile phones are in fact extremely annoying that maintains this perception.

It's almost as if people go out of their way to get annoyed at someone talking on the phone. Because logically speaking, and as the article states, if you only hear half the conversation, you should only be bothered half as much. And if listening to just one side of the conversation is bothering you, then why are you listening in the first place?

Why slashdot is retarded (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846381)

Because it spews meaningless garbage which is chewed up by meatheads that give garbage back to it.

As Don Jolly would say (5, Funny)

danormsby (529805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846385)

[nokia tune=annoying] ring [/nokia]

Hello. HELLO.

I'm writing on slashdot.SLASHDOT

Nah its rubbish

Re:As Don Jolly would say (1)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846432)

Damn, where are my mod points when I need them. :)

Why mobiles are more annoying (4, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846388)

What it really comes down to is a matter of how nosey you can be. We all are motivated to some degree by a sense of morbid curiosity -- a simple enough desire to know everything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If two people choose to have a conversation within earshot of me, I am not going to be made to feel the slightest bit guilty for listening in {however, I would draw the line at passing on information received without consent. Being privy to a secret doesn't give you the right to broadcast it}. If it's that important, they can always get up and go somewhere else.

If two people are having a face to face conversation in a language in which you are fluent, then you can hear both sides of the conversation. You can then make a fully-informed decision just how much attention to pay to it.

If one person is on a mobile phone, having one side of a conversation in a language in which you are fluent, it can drive you crazy trying to work out what is going on. You probably are devoting more attention to it than you can afford, and this also increases annoyance.

Two people talking face to face in a language in which you are not fluent, can also be extremely annoying.

Why 'phone conversations are more annoying (5, Insightful)

rasillin (710183) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846397)

I suspect that one part of why hearing half a conversation is more annoying has to do with the intermittent nature of half a conversation. Whenever someone starts talking near me, particularly if they are using a loud voice, I listen for a moment to see if they are talking to me. If they are in a conversation where I an hear both parts it's easier to ignore as it's easy to tell that they are not addressing me. With the stop/start pattern of half a conversation, I think most people are subconsciously triggered to pay attention to see if someone wants to talk to them, every time the local speaker makes a remark.

Not what I was hoping for. (2, Insightful)

Simon Lyngshede (623138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846400)

This doesn't explain why I dislike using mobile phones, which is what i really what to know.

Also it isn't the phone which annoys people, it appears to be other people.

half the conversation (1)

X10 (186866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846407)

The study says "people pay more attention when they hear only half a conversation".

The solution to this is to have a bigger speaker on the cellphone so that bystanders can hear both sides of the conversation.

Cell phones aren't annoying. (4, Insightful)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846412)

Assholes are annoying.

Will people stop focusing on the wrong thing (cell phone) and return focus to the actual source of the problem (asshole)?

Slashdot missed a poll idea (0, Offtopic)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846421)

The "Best Office Weapon" poll was getting rather annoying by not getting updated to a new one. Alas! /. lost out on a good poll idea.

Why mobile phones are annoying? (3, Interesting)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8846423)

They're annoying because..they're annoying.

-The insipid ringtones (hi, Britney!)
-The shouting
-The uniformity of the conversation (I'M ON A TRAIN! WHERE ARE YOU?)
-The blandness of what's being said (YES WELL I WAS SAYING TO MARGE THAT I REALLY LIKE THE FLOWERS AND MARGE SAID...)

I've noticed that the people who speak more quietly on phones tend to make a more educated and lucid impression--they stick to a conversation, for them a phone chat isn't some HYPER-/<3WL 5H1T D00D, but a tool, and they understand that they don't have to yell to be heard.

Maybe talking face to face with someone makes it easier for them to smack you upside the head when you say something idiotic.

To be perfectly honest, when idiots converse loudly in person, it's equally irritating. But then, that's probably just me.

Re:Why mobile phones are annoying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8846433)

s-s-s-s ssss ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-eteteteete kkkkkkkkkkk-ke-ke-ke-kekekekekekekekekeke!!!!
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