Why You Should Always Let Someone Know When You’re Putting Them On Speakerphone

Avoid this cellular snafu!

Call us old-fashioned, but we’ll always prefer a phone call. In the world of texting and social media, it seems there are less and less dial tones in our lives. Yet, those avenues of communication can’t quite imitate the personal nature of calling up a loved one and chatting about anything and everything. Not to mention, it’s almost always the quickest way to get an unequivocal answer to any question without the muddling of emojis and ambiguous wording.

Of course, manners still matter over the phone. For instance, there is such a thing as calling someone too late or too early, amongst other phone etiquette guidelines that can help both parties. However, there’s one lesser-observed phone call rule that you might not know, and it has more to do with privacy. Namely, you should always let someone know if you’re putting them on speakerphone in public or around other people, and vice-versa. It’s just common courtesy. 

Woman On Speakerphone

Getty Images/yacobchuk

A phone call—in its original intent at least—is meant to be a conversation between two people, no matter what is being discussed. If someone doesn’t know that they are being heard by anyone other than the person they’re speaking with, he or she doesn’t know to filter what is said. That person might bring up a serious personal issue that is private and not intended for unknown people to hear, which leads to a potential break in trust. Another example could be if someone brings up an embarrassing story about themselves that he or she would rather be kept between yourselves. 

Even if you don’t anticipate discussing anything intimate or out-of-the-ordinary, it’s easy to simply let people know when you’re putting them on speakerphone. There’s many reasons why someone might want to use speakerphone, such as while cooking or driving, but nonetheless everyone is always entitled to know when they are on speakerphone. . A quick “hey, I’m putting you on speakerphone by the way!” and “so-and-so is here!” will get the job done. 

Just think, if you happened to mention that you didn’t love your aunt’s macaroni salad at the family cookout while your mother has you on speakerphone. “Surprise! Aunt Linda’s here.” The sheer panic! Imagine the next family holiday!

Moral of the story? Better safe than sorry.

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