Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why teenagers talk loudly on their mobiles in so-called quiet carriages.

Of course, it's not just teenagers who do it. But when the offender is over the age of 25 or so, the explanation isn't very interesting: anti-social tosser pretty much covers it. With younger miscreants, though, I think there's a bit more going on.

My children's generation (21, 19 and 14, thank you for asking) have grown up with mobile phones. They're umbilically attached. Using their mobiles isn't something they do, it's part of who they are. They talk on their mobiles (or text or download clips from YouTube or gamble or check how their shares are performing on them) at all times, whatever else they may be doing.

As a result, they are simply unable to imagine how anyone could possibly object to hearing someone else talking on their mobile. Of course, they see the signs telling them that they are in a quiet carriage and asking them to refrain from mobile phone use; but, to them, the concepts involved in this communication are so outlandishly bizarre as to be utterly unintelligible. Don't talk on your mobile here? You might as well put up a notice reading "Stucco, fish, wimple", and expect them to undersand how they should respond.

However well we use words, sometimes we may have to accept that the person we want to reach just isn't receptive to what we have to say.