Are You Talking To Me or Are You on Your Phone?

What is it with some people and their Bluetooth headsets? This morning, while standing in line at the packet pick-up for tomorrow’s Shamrock run, I saw a man wearing his Bluetooth headset over his left ear. He was there with a couple of other guys, presumably his friends, and they were all picking up their own race packets. The guy wearing the Bluetooth headset was chatting it up with his pals and they all seemed to be having a good time. So, the question remained to be asked: why was he still wearing his Bluetooth headset when he wasn’t even on the phone?

I don’t get it. Unless he’s conducting business 24/7, I really don’t see the reason for keeping the headset on while not on the phone. And this isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this. I see plenty of people– mostly men– wearing their Bluetooth headsets out in public just because. Is it a new fashion movement that I’m just not aware of? Is keeping it on for pure convenience? Or is it some sort of statement, a sort of public display of supposed coolness or perceived status for even owning one.

I own a Bluetooth headset and use it for one of the reason it’s primarily designed– I wear it in the car while driving. But, I don’t wear it all the time, mind you. Only during long drives and only whenever I’m anticipating either receiving or making a phone call during the drive. I never wear it while on foot. I mean, how utterly useless are my arms that I can’t answer the cellular phone in the traditional manner while walking?

Moreover, using the Bluetooth headset while walking only makes some people look like high-tech schizophrenics. I was in line at a Starbucks (getting tea, of course) a couple of weeks ago and there was a guy talking on his Bluetooth while on queue. Had he not been well-dressed and impeccably groomed, he could’ve been mistaken for one of those crazy people you sometimes see on the streets talking to themselves. When he got to the counter, he was still having his wireless conversation, while the order taker actually stood there, smirking, waiting to get his attention. The guy stopped talking and asked for his coffee. The order taker then asked, smiling, “Are you talking to me or are you on your phone?” I stifled a guffaw– as did several other patrons waiting on queue– as the guy embarrassingly assured the order taker that he was talking to her.

Now, I’m not naïve. I know there will come a day (and perhaps it had already come and I just haven’t acknowledge it) when wearing Bluetooth headsets all the time will be akin to wearing a wristwatch. After all, I keep a wristwatch on almost all day even though I only look at it whenever I need to know the time.

Oh, well. To each his own.

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