Saturday, February 04, 2012

Bring back those booths.

Everybody today rants about the pain inflicted by mobile phone users in public places. No place is safe- theatres, airports, trains, temples, schools, hospitals. Many get so engrossed in their conversations and do not realise that they are talking in an unacceptably loud voice, disturbing all around them.  Each one of us has committed the crime sometime or other.

Yet, the mobile phone is here to stay and it would be futile to try to ban it in any place. It simply won’t be obeyed. So,it's impossible to get people not to talk on the phone. Something must be done to stop the noise from reaching and distracting the people around.

I read this article today on the very subject. The writer calls for a return of those old phone booths which were so popular when landline phones were the norm. Place sound-proof booth inside theatres and restaurants and direct people to use them when they receive or need to make a call.

Perhaps, we need something more innovative, as people may still show resistance in getting up and walking up to the booth every now and then. The temptation to pick up the phone while seated is quite strong. Sound engineers could come up with a mouthpiece that can pick up just enough sound for communicating to the caller, while muffling the rest and avoid it being propagated to the ears physically present nearby. Till then we’ll have to put up with it.

Do watch this video and the classy response of the violinist when he was rudely interrupted in the middle of a concert by a mobile phone ringtone.

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