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Why do people talk extra loud on cell phones?

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31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Drew Bethel

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:50 AM

A co-worker sitting about 15 feet away in another cubicle just got a call on his cell and I can hear every word!!! Don't people know the cell phones have sensitive microphones to pck up voices easily. Sheesh! PS. I won't even talk about the folks on the planes waiting for departure - not even gonna go there.
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#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted March 09 2004 - 06:56 AM

I'd bet it has to to with crappy reception. People have a tendency to talk louder when they can't hear well.

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   MikeSerrano


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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:09 AM

People (English-speakers anyway) have a tendency to talk louder (and slower) when they feel they are not being understood. This becomes evident when you see an American trying to communicate with someone that doesn't speak English--they seem to believe that S-L-O-W L-O-U-D E-N-G-L-I-S-H W-O-R-D-S will somehow make more sense. -Mike
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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Angelo.M



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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:10 AM


I always laugh when folks speaker LOUDER, in English, to a non-English speaking person. Because, you know, if they don't understand you, chances are they might if you SHOUT.

Posted Image

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Angelo.M



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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:10 AM

Mike: One of us owes the other a beer. We had precisely the same thought at, almost, precisely the same time.

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   MikeSerrano


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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:17 AM

I'll take a Guinness. Posted Image

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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted March 09 2004 - 09:52 AM


#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted March 09 2004 - 10:13 AM

My cell phone is so small I'm afraid people can't see it. If I talk loudly they will notice that I'm in possession of cutting edge technology and that I actually have someone to talk to. If I walk fast while this is happening they will assume I'm rushing to my next business coup. If I must stand still, I will at least hold my stomach in and preen a bit.
There is an outside chance that this display will get me some action. Posted Image

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#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Darren Haycock

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Posted March 09 2004 - 10:18 AM

Because...people are MORONS!
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#10 of 32 OFFLINE   NickSo



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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:00 PM

My dad is often a victim of "Cell-yell"...

I stand a few yards farther away from him when he does it in public :b Posted Image

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:50 PM

I was once on a plane, the fellow next to me talked for about 10 minutes on his cell (at a reasonable volume, to be fair). The funny thing was in 10 minutes, there was almost nothing of substance at all to his conversation (it was clearly work related), just a lot of buzzwords. He said maybe one sentence of any real substance the entire time, something about some tension between two co-workers and a possible reason why. I know, all I heard was one side of the conversation, but looking at him, I just got the impression he was one of those glib talkers, all flash, no substance.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:53 PM


#13 of 32 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:25 PM

In their minds, to make sure that everybody within earshot hears how important they are. Okay, there is an exception for people who are hard of hearing (and thus tend to talk at the volume they hope the person on the other end of the phone will talk at) and of course bad reception, high background noise, etc, but I've found you don't notice these guys as much because they're talking reasonable sense and the phone call is usually necessary. The ones I notice are the self-important assholes who think that their utterly unnecessary phone calls are so fascinating that everyone else will want to hear them. I had a 2 hour train journey the other day sitting next to a woman who spent the whole time phoning people who were obviously fairly remote acquaintances/colleagues on a pretext and then telling them about her promotion to another job. I realise that these people needed this information, but it's better handled in a letter or email. Certainly it wasn't something to do when you can be overheard. There's a simple one word phrase to describe such behaviour - boasting.

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Kevin Thompson

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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:20 PM

Maybe they have POS Siemens cell phones like my wife's and mine, and if they speak at a normal level the person on the distant end will NOT hear them. Of course that only accounts for 5% of the idiots. I can't wait for this contract to expire...
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#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Philip_G



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Posted March 09 2004 - 11:10 PM

On a normal telephone you can hear yourself through the speaker, on most cell phones I've used, you can't. Also, cell phones don't have the mic right by your mouth, so I think people fear they aren't being picked up.

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted March 10 2004 - 01:13 AM

Yep, I'm pretty sure it is a Philip_G said. The lack of a feeback of your voice in the receiver speaker causes people to think they are quieter than they actually are.
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#17 of 32 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted March 10 2004 - 02:03 AM

I really think it's about the static and the fact that the tiny earpiece makes it harder to hear. As Liela said:
To add to that theory, I would also suggest another cause would be the background noise. Most of us are used to talking on the phone in our houses where it is generally quiet as opposed to talking in public where we tend to talk louder so we can hear ourselves over the background noises. This is kind of the along the same lines of what people are saying about not hearing your voice in the earpiece. For some reason, it's harder to concentrate on what you're saying when you can't hear the words you're speaking. It's almost as if we are listening to ourselves at the same time we are talking. I don't claim to be a psychologist, but I do know about picture associations. Like when you read the word "Elephant" you also picture an actual elephant in your head (not just the word). This is probably the same as speaking and listening to what you are saying at the same time.

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted March 10 2004 - 04:37 AM

That's my excuse. Posted Image

With standard phones, you speak directly into the mic, with cell phones the mic is up near my ear. Though I suppose I should just speak in a normal voice until the person on the other end says, "speak louder, I can't hear you."
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#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Romero

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Posted March 10 2004 - 12:10 PM

Philip G is correct. On a normal phone, you can hear yourself which is commonly called "side tone" and sometimes "battery". You don't have that on a cell phone.

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted March 10 2004 - 12:49 PM

To me, it's not much different than the way people used to talk louder on the phone when they were calling long distance. The idea that you could talk at a normal volume when speaking to someone in another state or country took some time for people accept and have confidence in. Might just be that people in general are doing the same thing with cell phones due to all the reasons mentioned here already..the position of the earpiece, the size of the phone, wireless connectivity etc.

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