Life mobile phones public transport

17 intrepid attempts to make sense of those cretins who refuse to wear headphones on public transport

Reddit user No_Attitude9868 has asked about one of the true blights of the modern age.

‘People who play music out loud on the tube – why????’

It’s not just music either. People on public transport are increasingly holding full-blown conversations on speaker, their phones held flat in front of their mouths, like they’re in the middle of a task on The Apprentice.

And judging from the responses to the original post, many of us have yet to fully crack how this epidemic started and what we can do about it.


“I’m noticing this. The worst are people who have conversations using their speaker, so that all and sundry can hear what is being discussed. I don’t know what is wrong with people that they can not use headphones…
…They see the Kardashians (et al) doing it on TV and thus think it’s ‘cool’, not realising it’s simply a functional requirement there so the camera crew can pick up the audio” is about as close to a coherent explanation I’ve been able to see and/or come up with.”


“This – I don’t know where and when this bizarre behaviour started, but it seems to be becoming the “normal” way to use a phone these days. Madness!”


“Lack of respect for others coupled with the fact that this kind of thing is not usually directly challenged in British culture”


“There was a woman once who was playing her music out loud on the bus sitting right behind me. First I turned and stared at her a moment hoping she’d get the hint. She didn’t. Then I turned again and asked if she’d mind putting headphones in.

And you know what she said?

“I forgot my headphones so I have to use speaker.”

Like wtf are you supposed to say to that? Some people just feel entitled on another level.”


“I once started playing Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Body’ in the background while someone was having what sounded like a work convo at full volume on speakerphone on the bus. The opening got them to hang up real quick.”


“I guess what I don’t understand is that it will sound worse than just having earphones in. So I don’t think just a lack of respect if fully correct. It’s not that they’re just doing something they don’t want to do and don’t care how others feel. It’s like they actively want to play the music out loud as a status symbol.”


“When that happens I feel enabled to join in.
And then wait for the inevitable “oy, this is a private conversation”.”


“Once or twice, I’ve asked them what their next challenge on the Apprentice was.”


“I asked a guy on the train yesterday if he had earphones he could use whilst he blasted out Tik Tok clips every few seconds. He just said, “I bought a ticket so I can do what I want.” Shitty logic aside he just clearly just didn’t care about anyone else as he just carried on.”