I was traveling recently when, just upon landing, the elderly woman sitting in my row whipped out her cell phone.
“Faaanny? This is Maary.” Think strong Boston accent. Think extra-loud voice in a still-quiet airplane. “No, we’re still taxiing. Where are you?” Pause to listen. “Well, I have to go to the restroom and then go find my luggage because blah, blah, blah…”
You get the idea. Way too much personal information ad alta voce. Why???
I have a new rule. If you are over a certain age where you can’t help but speak extra-loudly (maybe because you can’t hear as well?), I’m going to need you to learn to text. You are officially banned from talking on cell phones in public.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I have great respect for my elders. I am doing this to save you from embarrassing yourself and others. Help me help you.
To be fair, I have definitely heard some non-senior citizens who don’t seem to understand the difference between indoor and outdoor voices. But usually just acting like I’m super-engrossed in the conversation is enough for them to lower their voices (usually with a glare as though *I’m* the one being nosy, but who cares?)
The elderly, however, are completely oblivious. You can stare, laugh, do whatever you want to indicate that they’re too loud, but they don’t notice. So until they figure it out, I’m going to have to insist that senior citizens stick to non-verbal communication in public.
So yes, Mr. and Mrs. Social Security, you are hereby allowed to LOL, SMH, and WTF to your heart’s content. But until further notice, putting your private life on blast via public cell phone conversations is strictly off-limits. You’ll thank me later. Or your grandkids will.
This has been a public service announcement.