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While it feels we increasingly live in a world where everyone walks around in public wearing headphones, apparently the message has not gotten through to everyone. I am constantly amazed at the number of people I see in public listening to music, watching videos or taking a phone call on speaker without headphones. Folks, this is rude. If you weren’t sure about it before, let me just set the record straight. I am running into this more and more as I travel – in airports, inside airline lounges and even on airplanes themselves.

Yes, It Is Rude To Listen To Music Or Video Without Headphones On

This seems fairly obvious to me, but if it’s so obvious, why are there so many people that listen to music or watch video without headphones on? I posted about this on Twitter awhile ago, and the response was overwhelming and unanimous that yes, it is considered rude to listen to music or videos on an airplane without headphones.

No, You Can’t Have Phone Calls On Speaker In Public Without Headphones

The same thing goes with having phone calls on speaker in public if you’re not wearing headphones or earbuds. Frankly, I think it’s pretty rude to have a phone call NOT on speaker in public, unless it’s a short call or you’re keeping your voice down. I see people in airline lounges all the time having super loud and extensive conversations on the phone. Even if you have headphones or earbuds on for a phone call (yay!), if you’re being loud on your end for a long period of time, it might be time to find a private room or call the person back later.

a woman wearing headphones

Airline Headphone Rule Finally Enforced

I believe that it is the policy of most airlines that headphones are required if you’re watching video or listening to music onboard an airplane, but it’s a rule that I rarely see enforced. I guess flight attendants feel like they have better things to do and don’t want to potentially escalate a situation?

I did see on the American Airlines reddit the other day a passenger report that they were on a recent AA flight and the flight attendant enforced the headphone rule

Was on AA 320 today going to VPS in window. Middle boarded after aisle and I, sat down, and immediately pulled out their phone and started watching videos with no headphones. Full phone volume. As we’re pulling away from the gate and FA heard the uncontained noise and askes middle if he’s got any headphones, he says no, she offers to get some but apparently his phone didn’t have a headphone jack. She tells him to keep it quiet unless he’s got headphones. Middle spends the next few minutes bad mouthing her, saying she was rude for calling him out. He complies though. To the FA who enforced the rules, thank you. To the individual in the middle seat: why did you not bring headphones if you were planning on watching videos on the flight? I think I speak for everyone when I say, why is this slowly becoming a problem on aircraft?

Not all heroes wear capes 🙂

The One Place You Can Listen To Music Or Watch Video Without Headphones

There is one and only one place where you can listen to music or watch video without headphones. And that is alone, in your own home, or any other time when you are by yourself. If you are ever anywhere in public and want to watch video or listen to music, you must wear headphones if you want to be a part of society and not have everyone think you are rude and self-centered.

The Bottom Line

It is rude to watch video, listen to music or participate in a phone call on speaker unless you are wearing headphones. We are livin in a society here, and nobody else wants to hear your music, video or phone call. Even though it feels like half of the people I see out in public are walking around wearing headphones or earbuds, it feels like most of the other half is listening to music or videos without them.

What’s your take on listening to music or watching videos without headphones? Leave it in the comments below

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