When did silence die?

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The other day Jason Gay, the Wall Street Journal’s fantastic columnist, Tweeted something that made me nod and laugh and chuckle with delight.

It was this:

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As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a coffee shop guy. I write in coffee shops, I read in coffee shops, I spend hours upon hours in coffee shops. They’re my creative happy spaces; the spots where I feel connected but at peace; focused but (oddly) isolated. It can be a Starbucks, a Peete’s, some independently owned craphole by the beach. As long as they have coffee and tables and danishes and places to write, I’m there.

That being said, something has changed—for the significant worse—since I started writing in cafes a decade ago. Namely, it’s the intrusion of cell phones, and the one-way conversations people are forced to listen to. Hell, as we speak this I’m trying to focus, but I can’t, because the guy next to me is just jabbering and jabbering—loudly—into his phone. It’s a weird thing, because I have no problem with two people chatting; even chatting loudly. But cell phones are intrusions. They’ve brought foreign ocular elements into the mix, and it drives … me … friggin’ … crazy.

Is there anything to be done? No. I glare at times, but I can’t really speak up. Because, well, what law is being broken? What violation is he committing?

I’m just a guy trying to write, forced to listen to you scream into a small device.