Or, an open letter to the girl across the room from me right now talking loudly on her cell phone:
Dear Girl on Your Cell Phone,
I realize I’m not in the library right now, so walking over to you and shushing you probably isn’t exactly kosher. Sure, I’m in a common space, so maybe I shouldn’t be bothered by your cell phone conversation, but would it kill you to take a look around here? There are, let’s see, six of us including you in this room. Five of us are trying to study. All of us now know your plans for after finals, how hard you’ve been studying up to this point, what you plan to do for dinner tonight after you leave this place, what your mother thinks of your rambling messages on other people’s answer machines. We know it all. And none of us care.
I know this is a hard concept, but when your phone rings, you don’t have to sprint across the entire length of a room to get it. And if you choose to do that anyway, common courtesy says you leave the area to take your call in private. Because, really, that’s what a phone conversation is supposed to be, right? I’m guessing you wouldn’t feel that comfortable having this same conversation on a speaker phone right here in the middle of this room in front of the rest of us. But that’s exactly what you are doing.
Please hang up. Or at the least, go outside. I’d like to study, but I have a problem concentrating when there is extra noise around, which is actually why I left my apartment. I’m now thinking I might get more done if I were to go back home.
Talking on your cell phone, loudly, in an otherwise occupied and quiet space, particularly with people who are studying is simply bad manners.