Reporter's phone-manners ruse tests tolerance

CBS "Early Show" contributor sees how long it takes for annoyed people to speak up when she yaps loud and long on her cell phone in a variety of public places.

CBS Interactive staff Special to CNET News
2 min read

The dangers of texting or talking on your cell phone while driving are obvious. But what about when you're simply using your tech device in everyday life? "Early Show" special contributor Taryn Winter Brill conducted a tech etiquette social experiment to find out just how long it would take to try people's patience.

Brill reported each year Americans spend more than 2 trillion minutes on their cell phones, and send over a trillion text messages. The constant chatting in public places can be annoying, so we designed our very own hidden camera social experiment to find out how people react when they're face-to-face with rude behavior.

Brill started out on a quiet commuter train, talking loudly on her phone. It took less than a minute for the man in front of her to react.

I said...NO...TALKING! Josh Miller/CNET

The man said, "Do you want to take your conversation in the corridor? It's not very courteous."

And what about those irritating chirping sounds when you're busy texting or IM'ing your friends? One woman suffered in silence for three whole minutes before she finally said, "That sound is going right through my ears. Could you lower it a little bit?"

Next Brill went to a supermarket and held up a line with her phone conversation.

One man picked up his items and moved to another cashier. The woman behind him took action and said, "I'm sorry, you're holding up our whole line here!"

Next, Brill stopped by a coffee shop and let her phone's ringing go on and on.

Most kept their cool, Brill said. But one guy decided to speak up, asking her, "Could you put that on vibrate?"

Finally Brill went to a movie theater, the most sacred of entertainment hideaways.

The audience was pretty understanding during previews, but during the movie, Brill found you can only push a person so far. After repeated ringing, a woman called out Brill, saying, "Turn your f****** phone off or I'm gonna kick you out."

So what can you do if you see bad etiquette? Should you speak out? Michael Grynbaum, a New York Times reporter, spoke to "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez about things people can do and answered your "Early Show" Facebook and Twitter questions on the broadcast.

This article originally appeared on CBSNews.com.