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Opinion

Columnist questions careless conversation

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March 26, 2008

Personal privacy is a concept that many college students understand and want when it comes to most issues in their lives.

However, I have recently noticed a growing number of students on campus who don’t seem to understand that a private conversation cannot be considered private if it can be heard by those around you.

Have you ever been walking through campus and noticed the large number of people, staff and students alike, who are on their cell phones between pit stops?

This was a question brought up in my Listening 207 class a few weeks ago. It is nothing short of amazing how open people will be with their phone conversations while standing in the middle of a crowd. I suppose this would be a really great way of getting to know someone without actually having to know them.

Upon this classroom discussion, I started taking note of how many people express very deep intimate secretes about a wide variety of areas in their lives.

The most common topic of chat is the ever-abounding sex lives of the young and the dating. What a scandalous campus we seem to have here in River Falls.

It makes me wonder what the speakers would say if I walked up to them and asked for more details. I have a strong feeling their face would turn red and a strange look of confusion would flood their face.

Another frequent conversation is the one where you can completely hear the fight, but can only see one of the fighters. Honestly, if you’re going to give a show at least present both arguments.

These types of conversations make me feel bad for the person on the other end of the phone.

As a passerby, I feel as though I have been cheating on the speaker too, and I’m not even involved.

Aside from sexual endeavors and ear blowing arguments, there is, of course, that all too common conversation with the parents.

This is simply a funny topic to happen upon, because we all go through it:“Yes Mom … OK; yeah I’m doing my homework … sounds great … I love you too.”

It’s as though you can hear exactly what she’s lecturing about.

There are some very interesting individuals living here on our campus. I must say, after listening to the non-stop cell phone chatter, I have noticed that the idea of privacy sure has taken a new shape.

The real question is, if people are talking about these issues on the sidewalks, what do the conversations sound like behind their dorm doors?

Linda Abel is double-majoring in marketing communications and business communications with an emphasis in professional organization. In her free time she likes to dance, watch movies, hang out with friends and spend time with family.