Headsets kill human discourse

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I was walking through the parking lot at Surrey Center when something happened that has become a common occurrence over the past few years.

I had finished my cup of coffee from a coffee shop, and I was walking to my car when someone beside me said, "Hello." I will admit, I was a little surprised by her greeting, mostly because I had no idea who she was, but in the spirit of being friendly I gave this woman a huge smile, a wave and a hearty "Hi, how are you doing?" I was expecting an answer of some sort.

As it turns out, the woman wasn't talking to me after all. Instead, she was having her own conversation on a Bluetooth telephone headset. When I said "hello" to her, she simply looked at me as though I were a raving lunatic. She proceeded to tell whomever she was talking to that a crazy man was trying to hit on her, and all the while I was simply trying to walk to my car after a nice cup of coffee.

I am tired of Bluetooth headsets! We live in a community where human interaction already has dwindled to a minimum. The last thing we need in our lives is another device that allows us to avoid genuine human contact, even if it is a "hello" on the street. Keeping a cell phone in your ear at all times is an annoyance to everyone around you. But more importantly, it robs you of the chance to meet someone new in the course of daily life.

I will never own a Bluetooth headset, and it is my hope that just a few readers will take a chance and take off their Bluetooth and say "hello" to a stranger the next time they get a chance. If you won't do it to meet a new friend, at least try it to keep from embarrassing an innocent bystander.

Will Dyer

Grovetown

(The writer is pastor of Grovetown United Methodist Church.)

Comments (8) Add comment
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44mag
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44mag 03/12/09 - 06:20 am
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If it's only you and me and

If it's only you and me and your lips are moving I figure you're talking to me and I'm going to carry-on a conversation. I could write a book! It was particularly enjoyable once in a grocery store checkout line where the offending party couldn't escape. Bluetooth is just another name for "Arrogance" or "Self-importance"!

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/12/09 - 07:29 am
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The times, they are a

The times, they are a changin'. The way we speak and the new definitions of social faux pas seem to change every day. None of this stops anyone from being pleasant, it just means you have to be more aware of your surroundings. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

ColCo
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ColCo 03/12/09 - 07:47 am
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Bluetooths are great in the

Bluetooths are great in the car and that is where my use of them stops.

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 03/12/09 - 08:11 am
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I hope I never get so

I hope I never get so important that I have to wear a cell phone in my ear at all times.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
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No_Longer_Amazed 03/12/09 - 08:26 am
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I work with people who seem

I work with people who seem to have a bluetooth implanted in their ear. You never know if they are talking to you or someone on the phone. Hand-held cell phones are equally annoying as they ring constantly. It is not as if the calls are emergencies, most of them are trivial family related calls that could/should be taken care of before/after work.

142
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Dan White 03/12/09 - 09:58 am
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My beef is the intrusive

My beef is the intrusive television in physician waiting rooms. If no one is in there but me, I go over and turn the thing off. If others are in the waiting room, I ask if anyone is watching it. If no one is, I turn it off. You wouldn't believe the thank you's that I get. Moreover, people actually start talking to each other. I enjoy the conversation much more than the idiot box!

Geistlich
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Geistlich 03/12/09 - 12:38 pm
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I do use a bluetooth device.

I do use a bluetooth device. It keeps me from having to try to hold a telephone while I have other uses for my hands. If you see me on the street and offer a greeting, I will excuse myself to the other party in my ongoing conversation and return your greeting. It is not the bluetooth that is at fault, it is the decline of manners and caring among the populace. My tools are not at fault if I am ill-mannered, it is me. Unfortunately I am from an era that no longer exists. If you think otherwise, PROVE IT.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 03/13/09 - 03:07 pm
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The only BlueTooth I will

The only BlueTooth I will ever buy is for my mp3 players.

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