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Diatribe: Bluetooth Users Could Be More Considerate.


Have you ever encountered a friend or colleague and stopped to say “hello” only to be greeted by a violent game of charades, including animated pointing at the head and fingers to the lips in shush-fashion? Odds are good that you’ve spoken to someone that was already involved in a conversation using a hands-free Bluetooth. Excuse me! How am I to know that you’re on the telephone when you’re not using a telephone?

I’m an advocate of hand-free telephones.  I think it’s an important safety feature and it’s extremely helpful to those that multi-task.  But as with anything else, there are pros and cons to Bluetooth usage and some common courtesies should be kept in mind.  For example:

  • Tell the person on the line that you’re using a hand-free device and determine if they can hear you sufficiently to continue.  If not, use your handset.
  • There’s no need to shout.  A properly adjusted Bluetooth doesn’t require shouting.  Avoid looking like a lunatic.
  • Remember your surroundings.  Your call might contain subject matter that passersby are not interested in hearing or do not need to hear.
  • If you anticipate an argument or animated negotiation step outside or find some privacy elsewhere.
  • Find a way to let people around you know that you’re using a Bluetooth and that you’re not talking to THEM.
  • Remember that it’s ok to say “I can’t talk now”.  There are times that telephone calls are simply not possible and there are those that aren’t particularly good at multi-tasking.
  • If you’re not using your Bluetooth, for goodness sake, please keep it in your pocket.  If you’re wearing it but not using it, you tend to look foolish.

I only use my Bluetooth in the car and, rarely, at that.  I’m not much of a telephone person to begin with and an additional distraction in the car is something I need to avoid.  I think it’s also important to realize that not all Bluetooths are the same.  The quality of the devise certainly impacts the enjoyment and/or productivity of the call.

Do you use Bluetooth technology?

Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. I generally only use my bluetooth in the car. But the quality is the issue — I had a Samsung (bad quality) and now got a Bose which transmits my voice and those of the other person clearly, like a real telephone.

    Your points are all good. At the office, I have a problem with people not knowing I’m on the phone that is not bluetooth-related. I have very long hair and they can’t see the phone. If I’m on with a client, it’s time for charades!


  2. Anonymous permalink

    Amen!!! All excellent points, especially- “WE don’t want to hear YOUR conversation” and “Take it off if you’re not using it, POSER”.
    I had clients who used headsets all day and eventually purchased red lights that mounted on top of their monitors indicating if they were on a call. Pretty neat.


  3. anne marie in philly permalink

    I don’t even own a cell phone. there’s no one with whom I need to speak that urgently that it cannot wait til I get home to my landline.

    we survived before cell phones/bluetooth, we can still do so.


  4. Will J permalink

    I’m always tempted to say that it is such a shame that your mother doesn’t trust you to be out all by yourself.


  5. You said what I’ve been thinking for a long time. Hello? There are people listening to you. I’ve never had anybody shush to me, but that’s pretty rude. I guess it all boils down to the fact that some people need to get over themselves!


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