The bad news is it has a lot to do with mobile phones. People babble in the street. When they walk towards you, unseeing and uncaring, it can be scary until you see a hand clamped to the side of their heads. When they can’t hear, they shout and share boring details.
A friend had no idea she was shouting into her Blackberry (could have been an iphone) until a construction worker stomped past, angry that a stranger should be forcing him into listening to something he would never choose. He glared but she took no notice until, embarrassed, I waved my arms about. I was amazed as well which is why we got away with it. He gave me a look that clearly said ‘sort it or I will’ and walked off.
“Three o’clock, make sure you’re in the right place.” She shouted and clicked off the phone.
Never in her life has she spoken to me like that. We discuss philosophy not where her 16-year-old son better be after school or else. In the space of a minute, there were extremes of feeling: her anger, my mortification and the builder’s angry amazement. Multiply it by ten million and there is a problem. Worse we are all sharing it. It is easy to solve. It is a hearing issue.
Next : Sorting Mobiles