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Anyone else noticed a big increase in outdoor phonecalls?

(41 Posts)
Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 10:17:35

I mostly run in the woods, as I have done regularly for the last 15 years.

Since the restrictions there has been a big increase in people out for a stroll, as you'd expect. Mostly it's not an issue, if we are heading towards each other we all move to the edge of the path, if I'm coming from behind I make some additional noise and they'll usually move over.

However, I have noticed a lot of people who are oblivious to their surroundings because they're chatting on the phone. Strolling in the middle of the footpath and not aware that I am there.

Is it a safe assumption that they have all had to leave the house to make a phone call to their OW/OM? grin I can't see any other reason for so many people suddenly needing to make lengthy outdoor phonecalls.

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ErrolTheDragon Tue 14-Apr-20 10:20:50

They're just people who'd normally be chatting oblivious to their surroundings in pavements or in cars, I expect.

MajesticWol Tue 14-Apr-20 10:21:29

Some people are doing their therapy appointments this way as they can’t get privacy at home.

I think a lot of people probably do just want to chat to others and let off steam in a way they wouldn’t want other people in their household to hear.

SpicedCamomile Tue 14-Apr-20 10:23:13

Yes, I have too and had the same thought! However I have also thought that perhaps people are used to exercising in gyms surrounded with noise or not used to taking walks by themselves and don't like being alone with their own thoughts/ find it boring, or possibly this is their one escape from their small children so the only time they can chat to their friends. I have definitely had the same thought as you though OP!

Clymene Tue 14-Apr-20 10:25:30

* if I'm coming from behind I make some additional noise and they'll usually move over.*

Joggers like you really, really get on my tits.

It's not up to them to move over - you should run around them. And if you can't do that and keep a safe distance away, find a wider path

Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 10:30:20

If there's not room to pass safely Clymene, they shouldn't be there either or how would they pass someone coming in the opposite direction? Surely it's not unreasonable, in any circumstances, to move over to let someone pass, it hardly inconveniences you?

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HarrietTheShy Tue 14-Apr-20 10:31:05

Neighbours are currently facetiming/skyping everyone they ever fucking met outside for some reason.

Pineapple75 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:32:47

I phone friends or family most days on my walks. It's a good chance to catch up with people. I try to stay aware of my surroundings though!

cologne4711 Tue 14-Apr-20 10:32:49

I was actually thinking the opposite when I was out for a walk yesterday. Lots of couples refusing to go single file, but nobody glued to their mobile phone screens, so on the plus side, they were looking where they were going.

I have seen a couple of people on their phones outside. Maybe they're the ones having affairs ;)

Ridingthegravytrain Tue 14-Apr-20 10:32:51

I normally walk with my friends so instead call while I’m walking. To get some privacy away from the children. Nothing suspicious here!

goldfishkiss Tue 14-Apr-20 10:34:13

I think some people are doing a walk and talk with friends as a way to socialise while under lockdown, of course some will be illicit calls but most will just be chatting with work, friends and family while out exercising.

redcarbluecar Tue 14-Apr-20 10:34:32

I’m also wondering why you can’t run round them, although appreciate it’s frustrating if people are weaving all over a path. Is that much different to people with headphones though?
I wouldn’t have thought that ‘everyone’ is making calls to a secret lover. I made one this morning whilst in the park - alas, nothing so exciting as that. It was nice to walk and chat though.

Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 10:38:42

Even the widest of footpaths are what, about 2/3m wide?. If someone's walking in the middle, how do you run round, 2m away?

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bigbluebus Tue 14-Apr-20 10:40:45

We had to get past a man on his driveway the other day. There was only a low wire fence between his drive and the narrow footpath (passageway). He was right next to the fence - pressure washer in one hand mobile phone in his other, deep in conversation. We stood for 2 mins trying to attract his attention so he could step back from the fence and we could pass safely. He was totally oblivious to our presence! People need to keep their wits about them when out and about now and if they must have a phone conversation they should stay well out of the way of other people.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 14-Apr-20 10:44:12

* if I'm coming from behind I make some additional noise and they'll usually move over.*

I'm really grateful when runners and cyclists do this, in paths where there's not room for them to pass wide enough without some adjustment on our part. DH has seen maybe a bit too much about 'breath plumes' so we are trying to keep rather more than 2m and hold our breath. I don't interpret the warning as 'out of my way, lesser mortals' ... just as a warning.

Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 10:51:09

Thank you Errol, that's how it's intended smile Usually I'm just a bit heavy footed, the vast majority just move over with a smile. If necessary I'll call out. But the post was intended to be a light hearted "noticing" of the outdoor phone calls not another opportunity for people to tell me how much runners annoy them.

Naturally, I know lots of runners, as a group they're among the nicest people I know, it baffles me why momentarily moving over for a runner upsets people so much, they'd do it for a faster walker. In normal circumstances I do a lot of hiking too and the etiquette there is definitely to be aware if what's behind you and let people pass. Perhaps there really are a lot of people out who've never been for a walk before grin

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MonaLisaDoesntSmile Tue 14-Apr-20 11:00:21

Why do you find it such an issue to run around others and expect everyone to duck for your convenience? I would expect a runner to make some bloody effort too, luckily people with our park are a bit more considerate then you.
That being said, I do notice loads more people face timing in the park really loud.

Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 11:04:04

What? I'm very happy to run around people, that's what I aim to do but on an averagely wide footpath, there isn't room to do that safely without both parties moving to the edge of the path. If a family is walking across the whoke path, how do I run round and leave a 2m berth? Surely that's not so hard to understand? Even if you're just out for a walk, you have to move over to let other walkers past.

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Aprilcherry04 Tue 14-Apr-20 11:15:41

So if there's no room for you to run round where do u expect the pedestrian to move to? I'm confused?

Makeitgoaway Tue 14-Apr-20 11:18:15

There plenty of room if both parties move to their respective side of the path, which is what the vast majority happily do. I really don't understand why it's so controversial. It doesn't work if one party is waking in the middle and objects to moving over.

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ErrolTheDragon Tue 14-Apr-20 11:19:43

* So if there's no room for you to run round where do u expect the pedestrian to move to? I'm confused?*

To the edge of the path, single file if multiple people - exactly the same as if a walker was coming from the opposite direction. Obviously.

Well, obviously to people who regularly walk on paths of finite width, I suppose.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 14-Apr-20 11:22:48

Yesterday evening we walked on our local towpath - the 'nice' walk here. We came across other walkers who didn't move to the far side of the path ... DH won't go there again now. Tiny acts of stupid lack of consideration ruining things for others. sad

ILikeYouToo Tue 14-Apr-20 11:36:56

I got really, really annoyed at the number of people supermarket shopping whilst chatting on their phones when I went on Friday. Totally oblivious to their surroundings, meandering around - not checking something quick like "do we need cheese?" but having full conversations...

CherryBakebadly Tue 14-Apr-20 12:28:13

Sad that your mind has gone to affairs.

I made an outdoor phone call yesterday. I needed to talk to the Samaritans in private. Has it occurred to you that some people might be calling helplines? Just a thought.

Aprilcherry04 Tue 14-Apr-20 12:52:53

Thanks for the clarification. I interpreted it that you expected the pedestrian to step off the path to allow u to pass

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