WASHINGTON -- Enough. I've had it with people and their smartphones, iPads, Kindles or whatever who are interrupting my experiences at the movies, during a play, or while dining at restaurants. I'm fed up with the loud conversations over cellphones on buses and trains.
The one plus to my frustration is that I'm saving money. Because I can't stand to be disrupted by rude people talking, texting and playing games on their devices, I've cut back on going out.
I can't help but think about Verizon's advertising slogan, "Can you hear me now?"
Yes, we can all hear you and it's extremely annoying. And it's surely going to get worse.
Virgin Atlantic recently announced that passengers flying from New York to London and vice versa on its new Airbus A330-300 planes can make and receive phone calls while in the air. The airline said in its statement that the service is intended for use in exceptional situations and will be limited to six users at any time.
How soon will this "service" be expanded to other airlines like the checked bag fee that started with a few carriers and became a done deal for most of the industry? There will be people who will pay the premium price to talk while flying. And to be sure that fellow passengers, with no place to move, will be disturbed. As if flying isn't frustrating enough.
I don't go to the movies as often as I would like because I know that I'll have to leave the feature to fetch a manager to tell some patron to shut off his or her cellphone. I refuse to spend my money for a movie-going experience that will be ruined by the glare of cellphones being constantly popped open to read and text or even make calls.
It's so jarring to be sitting in a dark theater only to be jolted by a phone with a screen so bright it could be used to land an aircraft. One man's Bluetooth headpiece kept blinking a bright blue light. I tried to ignore it, but every time it flashed, my head would snap in the direction of the light. When I asked the guy to remove the earpiece, he looked irritated. He glared at me when the movie was over.
I love taking the train and typically enjoy the ride. It can be so peaceful and you don't have the stress that comes with flying. But if I don't get a seat in the "quiet car" that Amtrak has designated for those us who want peace, I'm privy to some conversations that should only be conducted in private.
I understand the occasional short conversation to let someone know when to pick you up or that the train is running late, but people are holding long and involved conversations often about inane stuff. Businessmen are barking orders or, in one case, holding a conference call. I really don't want to know your business.
Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group