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Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,

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Should cell talkers be banned on flights?

Cell Talkers on Planes
You can virtually do nothing anyway if a call is an emergency. The call receiver might even turn hysterical and cause problems during the flight. Or let airlines charge them $100 Per Minute. But of course the filthy rich wouldn't mind.
Let's stop loud conversations before they start

'...Is there a chance callers will be considerate? Some, yes, but not enough. Remember that self-absorbed, entitled and inconsiderate passengers are the worst part about travel (far more so than long lines or luggage fees). Don’t expect the same people who block the gate despite having a later boarding number (gate lice) — or who hoard overhead bin space, hog the armrest or block the luggage carousel — to suddenly say, “Golly, it would be rude of me to talk loudly on the phone while surrounded by passengers who are, essentially, captives.”

'Not going to happen. There will be fights...'
http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2013/11/22/phones-in-flight-charge-100-a-minute/

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    Nov 28 2013: Poch,
    You say..."Let's stop loud conversations before they start". I think it is way too late for that my friend!

    You ask..."is there a chance callers will be considerate?" That is one angle, and another perspective is, are they aware of the personal, confidential, sometimes very intimate information they provide for everyone who is within hearing distance?

    I think of a silly "scene"....
    My buddies and I were getting on a gondola at a ski area....there were 5 of us and the gondola holds 6, so as we got on, a young man who was in line joined us.

    He immediately took out his cell phone and made a call. The ride up is about 20 minutes, so for the whole time, he dominated the very small space with a conversation with his mother. It was clear that there was an argument, and she was telling him that she was going to cut off money for his college tuition because he was not applying himself....he was partying too much and not paying attention to his studies.....etc. etc. The argument escalated, and only stopped when we reached the top of the mountain.

    As we got off the gondola, I joyfully said to the young man...."I totally agree with your mother....if you cannot apply yourself and do a good job in school, she shouldn't continue to give you money"!!! LOL:>)

    The young man looked at me like.....how the heck did you know all that lady? Was he not aware that there were 5 other people packed in the gondola? Did he think we could not hear the whole argument? Was he aware that he was talking so loud that we could not have a conversation among ourselves, so we were kind of "trapped" in a situation where there was no alternative other then hear his conversation?

    So, there is one side of this situation, when we ask is there a chance callers will be considerate of other people? And the other side, is how much information do those who talk on cell phones in public really want to provide to all those around them?
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      Nov 28 2013: It can be worse than that Colleen. About a couple of years ago an unknown lady was smiling and saying something to me in a tube rail station. Since it was a bit noisy and I missed what she said, I went closer and asked if I knew her. To my shock and embarrassment I discovered that she was actually talking on her earphone.
      It is now common in my city to witness people walking and talking animatedly to invisible counterparts like madmen. The phones provide music through ear plug and many pedestrians met with accidents while crossing roads.
      So some cells should be banned for the benefit of the talkers too.
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        Nov 28 2013: I've had similar things happen Pabitra.....someone in close proximity to me says something... I say....excuse me? What did you say? And they look at ME like I'm nuts!!!

        That is another issue Pabitra, which seems to happen everywhere...walking, talking, running while on the cell or texting....driving while talking on the cell and texting....we see it on the ski slopes....people are skiing and boarding while talking and texting.....dangerous because they are totally unaware of other people on the slopes. We've had some pretty bad accidents here with bikers seriously injured or killed by people who are texting while driving.....the true stories go on and on.....

        It may be important to protect the public with banning these practices, however, I would prefer the users to have a little more common sense. It seems silly to me that a government has to take those measures for something that seems so apparent.
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        Nov 28 2013: @pabrita
        Talking on earphones. Now these talkers surely have reason to
        show off their hi-tech gadget.
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      Nov 28 2013: @colleen
      lol Just the stupidity of talkers letting others hear them will
      make you want to slap them ma'am lol. The worst I did one
      time was say to a talker: 'Talk on the caves where others
      won't hear you.'
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        Nov 28 2013: Well honestly Poch, I feel that spending my energy being angry or frustrated with someone because I do not agree with his/her behavior, sometimes causes them to be even more determined to continue. I think it is good to focus on the danger to themselves and to others.

        We can sometimes take charge from another direction. For example, I have told people (good friends and family members) that I will NOT talk on the phone with them while they are driving. If it is an emergency, of course I'll take the call. If they are simply calling to chat, I will not participate, and I remind them of how dangerous the practice is to them and to others.
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    Dec 1 2013: The phone jammers are illegal to use because they affect everything in the area and on a plane that includes some of there electronic devices. However you could pick up a very powerful magnet like they put in a cows belly to collect metal objects they accidentally swallow while grazing. Then the trick is to get it close to their phone without them knowing it. It only takes a second and everything on the phone is erased and they won't be making anymore calls for a long time. If that does not get their attention just accidently zap them with your mini-taser, you will probably get a standing ovation.
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      Dec 1 2013: LOL great info and tips Keith!
      I think zapping them with tasers is more illegal although fun.
      Your magnet trick is better though I shudder to think I might
      erase a $M dollar contract from the talkers phone. Now that
      would really hurt!
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    Nov 30 2013: Poch, I understand your argument. People who are so tied to their electronics they have little regard for others is common. Cell phones, iPods, thumpa sounds in their cars .... it is all about them.

    These people do not respond to polite requests. They care little about laws, regulations, etc .... Even though they have friends who have died texting while driving and it is against the law .... who are we to tell them anything.

    Most of them see this as a right ... and when we ask them to tone it down we are violating their "rights".

    You can make excuses for them ... but the bottom line is they are rude and self centered.
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      Nov 30 2013: Thank you for being being the most agreeable so far Robert.
      You might be the only one who fully understand me.
  • Nov 29 2013: I just got off a flight where someone was talking loudly on his cell phone before taking off. When the stewardess asked him to hang up 8 rows applauded. No they should not allow cell phone conversations on planes.
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      Nov 29 2013: lol Now that is the most beautiful anecdote here yet Wayne.
      Glad we agree again. Thanks.
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    Nov 28 2013: Not at all. Why must they be banned? This is not the solution to it. There must be such a method devised that can block the signals of the mobile phone or jam its signals during the flight or simply install mobile signal jammer in the aeroplanes!
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      Nov 28 2013: There is a phone jamming gadget Abdul but I'm not sure
      if using it is legal. And even if it's legal, the gadget is a bit
      bulky for carrying around.

      Your installed phone jammer in planes is a great idea!
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    Nov 28 2013: well, people might use cellphones to do business. If someone is talking loudly you can ask them to lower their voice. Or ask the stewardess to ask them.
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      Nov 28 2013: Great seeing you again buddy.
      Asking the stewards to ask them seems a good idea. But asking rude
      users might just lead to a fight. And it would be dumb to accept a
      challenge inside a flying plane.
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        Nov 28 2013: well, that's a good question, Poch, if two passengers started physically fighting on a flight, what would happen? I suppose other passengers would try to intervene and stop the fight, along with the crew.

        I think you can ask someone politely to lower their voice. And generally they will. Or I might try hand gestures, start with my hand high in the air and then lower it, then point at my ears. You can smile as you do it so you are less threatening.
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          Nov 28 2013: 'I suppose other passengers would try to intervene and stop the fight, along with the crew.'

          Happened before Greg. Either the fighters get arrested or if the fight continues, the plane
          does emergency landing. I think that's the SOP in flight rules or law.
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        Nov 29 2013: well, it is possible to ask someone politely to lower the volume on something, whether it's their voice, their music, or other noise. I have done it many times, and so far have not been physically assaulted. Have you ever asked someone to lower the noise they are making? How did it go?
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          Nov 29 2013: Have done that many times and most of those times,
          it led to fights and that is exactly why I avoid asking
          nicely and ask rudely instead. Fire with fire.
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          Nov 29 2013: I am curious Poch....did adding flames to the fire ever put out the fire?
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        Nov 29 2013: Well, in most cases you don't have to escalate to rudeness, Poch, in most cases you have "backup." For instance, in this cell phone case, you could ask politely, and then, if they don't comply, you can ask for assistance from crew. If your neighbor is playing loud music, and you ask them politely to turn down and they don't, you have backup in that you can ask for help from your apartment manager, or from the police, am I right?
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          Nov 29 2013: I agree Greg, and I have had the situation when, after asking respectfully, the person told me if I didn't like what was going on here.....get the hell out of town. That was in regards to a very noisy, smelly toxic business, operating on neighboring property.

          When I was told to get the hell out of town, I thought...this is not ok.....something is not right here, so I reported them to the appropriate authorities.....the district director of the state environmental board, who discovered that they were in violation of local, state and USEPA laws.

          I had no idea that they were in violation of anything until the owners anger escalated, and caused me to look into it further. If the owners had compromised about the hours of operation, which is all I was asking originally, they could have continued the business, and probably nobody would have ever found out about the violations. I think it really helps to compromise, and NOT fight fire with fire. If that does not work, then we can take appropriate action, depending on the circumstances.
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          Nov 29 2013: @colleen
          Adding flames is different to fighting with fire ma'am.
          Real firefighters don't add flames when they 'fight fire
          with fire'.

          Backups are almost always absent Greg and I never
          contradicted asking for assistance.
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          Nov 29 2013: Poch,
          You said..." I avoid asking nicely and ask rudely instead. Fire with fire."

          Right...real firefighters use water and flame retardants when fighting fires.
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        Nov 29 2013: well, I enjoy the challenge of asking someone directly to turn down the volume, plus it's a little faster and easier.

        By backup I do mean assistance, Poch, for example, if I asked someone politely to talk a little more quietly on their cellphone, and they wouldn't, then I could ask the crew to speak to them, the crew, in this case, is my "backup" after me asking myself has failed.

        Another option is to ask the people around you and the person talking noisily what they think, do they agree with you that the person is too loud? Even ask them to voice their opinion to the noisy person. Perhaps when the noisy person sees that more than one person thinks they are too noisy, they will change.

        In general, I would say you don't have to get rude back, although once in a while that can be the best strategy, with some people it has more impact if you are a little rude. And helps you blow off steam.
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        Nov 29 2013: Poch, what do you think the phrase "fight fire with fire" means if not "add flames"?
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          Nov 29 2013: Real firefighters use explosives to 'fight fire with fire'.
          That's killing flames not adding flames.

          'The best defense is offense.'
          That supports 'fire with fire'. If you are not an athlete or
          a martial arts student, you won't ever understand me and
          our chat would be useless.
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        Nov 29 2013: And how do they use explosives to fight fire?

        Well, most times when I ask someone to turn down the volume, they don't attack me, they just turn it down for me. But if they do attack me, my strategy usually is to try to ignore the emotion of the attack, and just listen to the words. If they were to say "You son of a bitch, why do you think you have the right to ask me to talk softer?" I would just say, in a very meek, humble voice, "Oh, I'm sorry, it just makes it hard to think," or something soft. I find this gets to them, because it shows that you're not trying to have power over them, you just don't like the noise.

        In a way, Poch, I would say that in this case it's not about any argument between you and this other person. Your goal is to reduce the noise, not to show that you're better than the other person, or them show they're better than you.

        I suppose in this case you are also fighting for what you want, but it's a very subtle way of fighting, it tries to show the other person that it's nothing against them personally.
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          Nov 29 2013: I agree Greg....most times I prefer to ask with respect, and generally I find that people want to be cooperative. When we are honest and respectful, it seems to be more effective.

          As you say, it's important to remember what we desire for the end result......what is the goal? An argument? Or to get the noise reduced?
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    Dec 18 2013: The Calls-in-Flight Bidding War
    “For people like me, we need to be in touch with other people all the time. It’s a very good convenience to have,” she said Friday while rushing her way through Reagan National Airport.

    Indeed, Begum said she’d pay an extra $20 per flight for phone privileges.

    “I’d pay 50 to 100 bucks more to be in the ‘quiet car,’” said Brent Reynolds, who travels frequently to sell hats and outerwear for his company. “I don’t want to be there with a lot of people yakking loudly.”

    We should be glad that flights offer the opportunity to be 'disconnected' and relax a bit. We should be wise and use the opportunity.
    http://mashable.com/2013/12/18/quiet-flight/
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    Dec 15 2013: Reason to allow cell talkers on flights?
    'The bad news is we've lost communications with the ground. The good news is you can feel free to use your mobile devices to call for for help.' -howtogeek
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    Dec 15 2013: Reason to allow cell talkers on flights?
    'The bad news is we've lost communications with the ground. The good news is you can feel free to use your mobile devices to call for for help.' -howtogeek
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    Dec 12 2013: Americans Oppose Cellphone Calls During Flights, Poll Finds
    As U.S. government agencies consider more aviation rule changes, the American public appears to have made up its mind when it comes to gadget use during flights.

    More Americans oppose allowing voice calls during flights than are in favor of it, according to a newly released poll. The poll, conducted jointly by The Associated Press and market research firm GfK Group, found that 48% of respondents oppose allowing calls, 19% are in favor and 30% are neutral.
    http://mashable.com/2013/12/11/voice-calls-flights-poll/
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    Nov 29 2013: Thank you Poch. Actually this is a technical issue so we must devise a technical solution to it too. So that's why a jammer would perfectly suit in this case.
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      Nov 29 2013: Thank you again Abdul for making it clear that this
      is a tech issue.
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    Nov 28 2013: Something is wrong with the reply button. It doesn't show on
    all the replies so I can't reply back.
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      Nov 28 2013: Poch,
      The third level comment does not have a reply opportunity. See the little arrow at the top left of the comment? There is 1 arrow - 1st level reply, there are 2 arrows - 2nd level reply, or there are 3 arrows - no reply option. When that happens, you can scroll up or down in the conversation to the next "reply" opportunity.