Manage your private conversations in public

BY CONNIE MUSISI

We are all aware of the conversations we have with others. It is also a common place event for most of us to be subjected to a noisy conversation on a mobile telephone by people in close proximity to us in public spaces especially in public service vans (PSV) or commuter taxis.

 
On one occasion while travelling, next to me was a passenger who started resolving his marital issues on phone.

 
No sooner had he alighted than the other passengers started discussing his lack of respect and manners. “How dare you scold your wife while travelling and in public! God forbid!” said one angry woman.

 
In all our daily talk we ought to understand that the first conversation is the one that we both speak and hear. The other conversations are happening silently in individuals’ heads around us.

 
A very interesting aspect of any conversation is that it is a rich pour out of information telling others about ourselves, our preferences, our prejudices, our values, our emotions and how we truly assess ourselves and the world. Unfortunately, many people do not realise that.

 
If we are not careful, we shall find that we say things that damage rather than improve our image and relationships.

 
We need to find out the behaviour and views of bystanders in response to mobile telephone conversation by a third party.

 
There are usually varied expressed non-verbal responses, namely embarrassment, discomfort and rudeness, and other patterns of behaviour.

 
It is worth noting that use of mobile communication influences how we go about our daily lives. Therefore, while communicating on your mobile phone, take note of the following:
lMobile phone use in places such as restaurants is unacceptable.

 
It is a fact that mobile users tend to talk louder than usual when using mobile phones, individuals located near the users feel coerced into eavesdropping into those conversations.

 
Show some kind consideration for those around you. All mobile phone usage “intrudes” into any social situation.

 
Regardless of how you feel about the caller, it shouldn’t be openly expressed; it makes others curious about the conversation that is taking place.

 
Use of the mobile telephone is a test of morality. It’s an issue that conforms to people’s beliefs about what is believed to be right or wrong.

 
Note that these are not absolute behavioural rules, but are used for social orientation!
Next time you make or receive a call, be mindful of the environment.

The writer is the university Career Development and Placement Officer

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