Why do young people hold their smartphone in front of their face when making a call?

TETENAL

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 29, 2014
188
188
I noticed that more and more often young people are holding their smartphone in front of their face when they are making a regular phone call (or VOIP or FaceTime Audio or whatever they do nowadays). This looks incredibly weird to me.

I guess I kind of know the answer to why they do this. They are probably no longer accustomed to old analog phones with a handset on a cable that you hold onto your ear and speak into.

But why do they hold it in front of their face? Don't they know that smartphones have proximity sensors that disable touch when you hold them to the ear? Are they afraid of smudging the screen?

It looks incredibly unstable, like they could drop their phone any moment. And hearing must be worse too. So weird.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,606
There using speaker phone. Over here it’s very common in some races to talk in that way.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,287
25,061
Behind the Lens, UK
I noticed that more and more often young people are holding their smartphone in front of their face when they are making a regular phone call (or VOIP or FaceTime Audio or whatever they do nowadays). This looks incredibly weird to me.

I guess I kind of know the answer to why they do this. They are probably no longer accustomed to old analog phones with a handset on a cable that you hold onto your ear and speak into.

But why do they hold it in front of their face? Don't they know that smartphones have proximity sensors that disable touch when you hold them to the ear? Are they afraid of smudging the screen?

It looks incredibly unstable, like they could drop their phone any moment. And hearing must be worse too. So weird.
I think it's so you can see they have an iPhone!
Worse are people who use there device on speaker phone when in close proximity of others. It's bad enough listening to one end of your dull conversation let alone both.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,314
9,329
Vilano Beach, FL
I do this pretty regularly, because 95% of the time, I use the speakerphone - and it's convenient if you need to navigate to another app (to look up something, get directions, share a content, etc.), or if I'm navigating some kind of phone input system.

I think in the US some of it was from the period of the "walkie talkie" style phones.
 
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0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,164
Somewhere
I haven't seen people doing that out in public, when I am at home I will use speaker phone just because phones are too big to comfortably hold up to your ear these days.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
10,620
I do this pretty regularly, because 95% of the time, I use the speakerphone - and it's convenient if you need to navigate to another app (to look up something, get directions, share a content, etc.), or if I'm navigating some kind of phone input system.

I think in the US some of it was from the period of the "walkie talkie" style phones.
PTT, it still exists. I had one through work for a long time. It would draw uncomfortable stares when you used it in public if the people were unaware of such tech.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
10,620
Interesting. Over here we lost PTT a few years ago when the old CDMA network was shut down. Do you happen to know whether the US service has been updated to work over LTE or whether it still uses the legacy network?
I'm with Verizon, but according to their page, it goes over 4G LTE and wi-fi. I'm not sure how they've done it as I don't keep up with mobile news. Didn't Orange offer it for years? I know TalkTalk looked into it ages ago but thought it was best to leave it up to the larger carriers. Didn't Deutsche Telekom offer it there for years but no one used it as much as texting? We used it here often because for so many years, the cost of text bundles outweighed PTT costs. As I said, you looked quite stupid if not questionable in public. Though I felt a fool to using a giant sat phone in foreign countries while on work assignment. You look like a right **** using one and having to scream because the satellites then were such garbage.

Never bothered with them years before that. Dropping a post card or note at a US consulate or embassy to be faxed to the US was simpler and faster.

Texting is now unlimited for 99% of plans here. I believe Apple established that with the iPhone. Kudos to the late Steve Jobs. :) All I remember from that time period when speaking to friends living in the UK was "we text a lot," and I couldn't imagine how they afforded texting so much, sometimes a few hundred a day. The overage prices in the US then were a shocker.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,154
1,322
Always a day away
Back in the 1980's, people weren't afraid to share music - in those days, that meant listening to it together. Boomboxes (or "ghetto blasters") were the toy of the day. Most people didn't use headphones, especially in public. Music was meant to be enjoyed by all.

Today, you get nothing but cross looks (or worse) for playing music through an actual speaker where people other than yourself can hear it. Young people today want to listen through headphones, but more importantly they want YOU to listen through headphones as well. It's not so much that people don't want to share music today, it's that they don't want YOU to share YOUR music. It's all about headphones.

Which is why I find it particularly ironic that this same group of people insist on using speakerphone so often when they already have headphones connected to the phone.
 

maxjohnson2

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2017
335
210
It's not just speakerphone but it's all video calls now. I expect this to be the norm for the future.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,350
6,291
The Anthropocene
Back in the 1980's, people weren't afraid to share music - in those days, that meant listening to it together. Boomboxes (or "ghetto blasters") were the toy of the day. Most people didn't use headphones, especially in public. Music was meant to be enjoyed by all.

Today, you get nothing but cross looks (or worse) for playing music through an actual speaker where people other than yourself can hear it. Young people today want to listen through headphones, but more importantly they want YOU to listen through headphones as well. It's not so much that people don't want to share music today, it's that they don't want YOU to share YOUR music. It's all about headphones.

Which is why I find it particularly ironic that this same group of people insist on using speakerphone so often when they already have headphones connected to the phone.
Not many people were thrilled with the boomboxes either. Although occasionally someone would take it upon themselves to silence the disturbance. Check out this actual security camera footage from a bus in the Bay Area circa 1986.

 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,287
25,061
Behind the Lens, UK
Back in the 1980's, people weren't afraid to share music - in those days, that meant listening to it together. Boomboxes (or "ghetto blasters") were the toy of the day. Most people didn't use headphones, especially in public. Music was meant to be enjoyed by all.

Today, you get nothing but cross looks (or worse) for playing music through an actual speaker where people other than yourself can hear it. Young people today want to listen through headphones, but more importantly they want YOU to listen through headphones as well. It's not so much that people don't want to share music today, it's that they don't want YOU to share YOUR music. It's all about headphones.

Which is why I find it particularly ironic that this same group of people insist on using speakerphone so often when they already have headphones connected to the phone.
People sharing music (crap music at that), on crappy little bt speakers tuned up load so it distorts to hell are always younger than 20. Ban them I say!
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
10,620
I have so many bad memories of tapes getting stuck in their players. It's happened with CDs too, but usually there's a pinhole manual release. Nowadays, I can connect a USB in the console and go off of that. Today's kids have it so good with all the fancy new tech.

@Apple fanboy You forget the days of our generation rocking out a boombox at max volume pissing off the older people. :p
 

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