5 Tech Behaviors That Drive Me Crazy

When the very first Walkman as introduced in 1979, the Chairman of Sony insisted that it have two headphone jacks.  Why? Because he believe it was inconceivable that anyone would want to isolate themselves from humanity with a set of headphones.  A second jack would at least allow the simultaneous sharing of music.

That feature lasted exactly one iteration of the Walkman. Since then, we’ve all become walking zombies, encased in our own private sounds, separated from the rest of the universe.  This has led to some really annoying tech-related behaviors.  Here are a few that really, really bug me:

1.  People who don’t take their headphones off their ears when they’re talking to me (or anyone else).

2.  People who DO take off their headphones to talk to me but keep the music blasting at the same time.

3.  People who listen to their music at volumes so high that I can hear it from half a block away.  (I recently took a trans-Pacific flight with one of these morons two rows over.  Six hours of highhat tst-tst-tsts over the roar of two 777 engines.)

4.  People who fiddle with their devices when we’re supposed to be having a conversation.

5. People who grab my device and so they can look through my playlists.

What other breaches of tech etiquette bother you?  NBC news has a few other thought-starters.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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5 thoughts on “5 Tech Behaviors That Drive Me Crazy

  • People have a hard time leaving there device behind even when they go to the bathroom. Who the hell wants to talk to you while you are taking a shit! Also I don’t want to hear anybody having a conversation while they are on the can. Concerts… watch the show you paid money to see and leave the phone alone. Taking a picture here is ok, but do you really need to text someone in the middle of a show?

  • Minutes after getting my current phone, i was riding transit playing with the settings and exploring the thing to familiarize myself with it. I have the headphones on thinking ALL sounds are going through the earbuds and not playing out loud – i went through pretty much every single ringtone and notification noise on the thing. I tested all the volume settings and alarms, the whole shebang. At one point i could almost feel the stinkeye coming from all around me and i looked up to see my fellow passengers staring at me and probably wishing me a violent death. I had to, out loud, say sorry a couple of times to everybody around and rode head down for the rest of the trip. I became one of the people that as a daily transit user i hate.

  • People who use external speakers to blast their music in a public place, usually a subway car.

    • Heh haven’t encountered it on the subway yet, but I have several times on buses.

      At least on the new Toronto Yonge subways there’s the option to walk away.


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