Being a hip mobile journalist, I parked myself at the LBI branch of the Ocean County Library (a fantastic library system if you can avail yourself of a card) to get some work done early Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been experiencing serious attention deficit issues lately, so I figured the library would be a nice, quiet place with few distractions for me to get some stuff done. Right? Wrong.
This woman – who, to put it nicely, was no spring chicken – plops behind me with a laptop and loudly explains to her companion that she’s not sure how to work her computer when it’s not at her desk at home. Companion plugs her in and walks away. Then, all hell broke loose and I, being entirely too into social media, took to Twitter to share my outrage with my then 499 followers (now 501 – heeeyyy) through a series of tweets, sharing some vital information (heh) with people who likely just don’t care.
Her laptop session began with her playing a YouTube video of a mediocre girls choir singing some unintelligible Motown cover – shockingly horrendous enough. But wait, it gets worse. Then her phone rang (out loud, of course) and she answered and proceeded to chat and chat and chat – loudly.
This woman divulged every single detail of her Long Beach Island vacation – from some baby she know being cranky (which really just isn’t like him; he hasn’t adjusted t his new surroundings yet) to a visit to Nardi’s for Pasta and Sinatra night to whether or not Kathleen made dinner from groceries David bought – in a vocal volume I’d feel uncomfortable using in my home, being a semi-low talker. She talked for more than 30 minutes…in a library.
I thought maybe because she’s an old she wasn’t really aware of all the rules concerning these new technological gadgets she has, or maybe she heard that the kids these days are just rude and they don’t mind having having the library be turned into a straight-up gabfest. So, I decided to look up cell phone etiquette, which the kind folks at cellphones.org so politely expounded upon.
“Everyone carries a cellphone these days and whether it’s non-stop texting or loud public calls, there’s no shortage of ways to be completely rude while using them,” they wrote and politely outlined 14 ways to make the cell-phone-carrying world a more civil place to be.
I found my library friend to be in violation of 4 of these rules, mainly because it’s just assumed by – oh, say, like THE ENTIRE WORLD that you just don’t talk out loud in a library so the cell phone regulators left out “Do not talk in a library.” She stomped all over No. 1 Lower your voice when talking in public; No. 2 Avoid personal topics when others can hear you; No. 5 Put your phone’s ringer on silent mode in theaters and restaurants (I took the liberty of lumping libraries into that category); and No. 14 Observe the 10-foot proximity rule. (I also discovered that many of my friends are in violation of No. 13: Be mindful of Facebook tagging- no, I do not want a picture of me, tongue stuck out, makeup all wonky, leaning at an unfortunate angle that makes my upper arm look more like a thigh, on Facebook.)
All yesterday’s library adventures needed was little of this:
(Note: I have not listened to this video’s audio so if it’s incorrect or inappropriate, I apologize. It’s just that I’m back at the library and have no headphones with which to listen to it politely.)