Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bluetooth: A Public Service Announcement

Image courtesy of linphone.org
By now, everyone should know what Bluetooth is, or at least knows what it is used for. For those that do not know what Bluetooth is used for, it is the wireless protocol that allows our cellular phones and portable media devices to wireless communicate with each other. Bluetooth is also used to allow our devices to wirelessly stream audio and information to other devices, such as earpieces, Bluetooth ready speakers, and our cars. In our wireless and digital life, Bluetooth is nearly everywhere.

Bluetooth has also made it possible to communicate via telephone with other people in our cars without having our hands actually on the phone. Studies have shown that driving while holding your phone in one hand greatly increases the chance of getting into an accident due to the distraction of holding your phone and attempting to maintain control of your car with the other. Because of this study, many states have made it illegal to be on the phone while driving, unless it is through a Bluetooth hands free device. Auto manufacturers have taken this opportunity to include built in Bluetooth hands free as an option or, in many cases, as standard equipment. The built in variant works by pipping the audio from your phone conversation through your car's sound system, while a microphone built in somewhere near the front of the cabin picks up audio and transfers is back to your phone.

Image courtesy of Gruel for Dinner
And thus comes the point of this Public Service Announcement. While built in Bluetooth hands free is a great piece of technology, it seems many drivers forget that their entire phone conversation is being streamed live through their car's audio system. For a good majority of people, at least the ones that I know, phone conversations tend to be private matters that you do not necessarily want to share with a stranger you have never met. Some drivers, on the other hand, simply do not care. I do not care to listen to your phone conversations, especially if they are about private topics one should not be discussing openly in public, much less while behind the nonexistent veil of privacy of a phone conversation over what amounts to a PA system in your car.

One day, I was returning from my local Fresh & Easy after doing my weekly grocery shopping. Driving back in my S2000, top down, enjoying the fresh air and the soundtrack of my own car, I happened to pull up next to a blond woman, roughly in her late twenties, in a brand new, black colored, 2013 BMW 328i convertible. With her car's top down, I heard the distinct sound of a ring tone emanating from her car's speakers. I thought nothing of it, until her conversation began. In the most stereotypical valley girl voice you can imagine, I became an unwitting participant to a conversation that I wished I did not hear. It went a little something like this:

BMW Girl (BG): Oh my God, you'll never guess what happened last night!
BMW Girl's Friend on the phone (FOP): What? Tell me!
BG: I slept with Brad (name has been changed for privacy purposes)!
FOP: Are you serious? You slut! High five!
BG: I know! It was, like, totally amazing. His penis was so huge!
FOP: Oh em gee. For real?
BG: Yea! And, like, he did me in all these crazy positions too! I think he said he got it from that book, the Karma Sutra or something. You know, that Indian sex book.
FOP: Oh, I've heard of that. I wonder if Indian guys are super kinky because they have that book.
BG: I know, right? Anyway, Brad plowed me so hard, my vagina is going to be sore for a week!
FOP: Oh my God, you're so dirty! You kinky ass slut!

And thankfully the light turned green, and I drove away from that as fast as I could. I mean, really? You could not wait a few minutes to have this sort of conversation in private? Why could you not have invited your friend over and had this conversation face to face somewhere where dozens of people cannot overhear? I, for one, do not care how big of a slut you are, or what you think about the Kama Sutra and Indian men. And I certainly did not need to know that Brad "plowed you so hard" that your vagina is going to be sore for a week. Some things are just better left to be discussed in a less public forum, unless you are really trying hard to broadcast to the world your sexual exploits, in which case you are an attention whore.

So please folks, remember where you are when you initiate a phone conversation. The general driving public would greatly appreciate not having to hear about how big of a slut you are while waiting at a stop light. Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

Image courtesy of Friendship is Magic Wiki