Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Speakerphone stigma

The last time I had a phone conversation with someone, the person apologized in advance for having to put me on speakerphone. I made it quite clear that I had no issue with that - I'm a big user of the speakerphone myself. But it made me think about the fact that there certainly seems to be this stigma attached to the use of the speakerphone in that we always feel the need to apologize or ask permission before using it.

It's a technology of convenience. That's what it was invented for - to use it. Darlene seems to think that the stigma may arise from the fact that if you're using speakerphone, you must not be devoting 100% of your concentration to the conversation. She brings up a good point. We are multi-taskers by nature. The only reason we gave ourselves fully to phone conversations in the past is because we were tethered to the machine by cords. It's one of the reasons extra long telephone cords sold so well. But thanks to the cordless phone and now - the cordless phone with speakerphone, you could be doing all sorts of things while chatting with the other party. I will not go into any examples, because some of you have already visualized what is appropriate for you.

Anyway, I hope the day comes when we don't have to apologize for using our speakerphones.


Petrat said...

I HATE SPEAKERPHONES! Ok that may have come across a little harsh but for me it came from two issues. One a guy two offices down who used his all the time with the volume cranked and believed he had to shout to be heard by the other person. And the second the number of people who use these for "personal" conversations in a cubical environment. In every place I have ever worked there has always been at least one person who did this.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I was going to write the exact same thing when it comes to being in a office. It makes me cranky to have to be an 'unwilling' participant.
Because I work from home and have conference calls, I do them on the speakerphone so I can take notes.

Karl Plesz said...

I never really thought about it in the context of work. I was thinking more at home. But yeah, at work, speakerphone can be abused - royally!