“Am I on speakerphone?”

                                                                                                                                      Copyright Annette Marie Hyder

Assumptions of privacy

There is something about cradling a phone to your face and
talking to another person through it that lends itself to the assumption of


When I am on the phone with someone, I assume that I am
having a personal, one-on-one conversation with them. Many times, to my horror
and chagrin, this assumption is mistaken.

Most often this mistake is made in conversation with
my family members. I should just learn to count on the fact that any
time I am discussing something of a sensitive or embarrassing nature in a
confidential manner, that it is being broadcast via speakerphone and everyone
in the house is gathered round the speakerphone: like families used to gather
around radios in the days before television for information and entertainment, a
bonding experience for one and all, if you will.


My (unbeknownst to me) public revelations are like a fire crackling
invitingly in a hearth in winter at which to warm one’s curiosity and toast one’s nosiness.

When I recently had a disagreement with my sister and we were working it out over the phone, I felt so lucky to have such a great sister that I could disagree with heatedly and still come to a happy ending with. And at the end of our conversation I found out that I was having that conversation with her husband and two daughters as well. Telephone Theater at its finest.

My brother regularly has me on speakerphone and attempts to draw his friends that are there at the time into the conversation too. I hate it.

Whether you are on a cell phone or a land line, most phones can easily be put on speakerphone. I have a suggestion for those who have a love for that telephone function that is least loved by me.

Telephone etiquette

I propose that if you put and/or have
someone on speakerphone that you advise them of this circumstance at the
initiation of any and all conversations.


Thank you. That is all.


                                                                                                            Copyright Annette Marie Hyder