Photo by SamPac
Researchers in the U.S. have offered an explanation as to why overheard cellphone conversations are so irritating, Reuters reported:
“We have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than when listening to a dialogue,” said Lauren Emberson, a co-author of the study that will be published in the journal Psychological Science.
“Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can’t tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated,” she said in an interview.
“When you hear half of a conversation, you get less information and you can’t predict as well,” she said. “It requires more attention.”
Thrown in the middle of the article are these nice statistics:
Last year Americans spent 2.3 trillion minutes chatting on cellphones, according to the U.S. wireless trade association CTIA — a ninefold increase since 2000.
China has the most cellphone users with 634 million, followed by India with 545 million and the United States with 270 million, figures from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) show.