To the Numbnuts Who Don’t Turn Off the Sound When They Play Candy Crush in Public

What are you thinking?

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Karen Smeds / Getty Images
Karen Smeds / Getty Images

Last Sunday, I got trapped in between stations on the subway for more than an hour. People were handling the glacial investigation surrounding the mysteriously pulled emergency break pretty well (it’s annoying but an implicit risk you take as a New York City commuter) until some guy started playing a game on his iPhone, volume at full blast. The pings of music didn’t mix well with the hunger pangs of everyone who was now very late to brunch, and the man was honestly shocked when I asked if he’d mind putting the game on mute. It took requests from fellow passengers to get the game-player to not just turn down, but turn off, the sound of his game.

Later that week, after I spent a morning’s commute listening to the soundtrack of a suited woman’s Candy Crush game, I realized it might be time to make a plea that, given pretty standard social norms, should be unnecessary. To all those who don’t turn off the sound on their smartphone/tablet/gameboy (do people still use those?) in public…. stop.

No, seriously, stop. What are you thinking? It’s annoying, inconsiderate, and completely avoidable given the modern marvels of the mute button and the not-so-modern marvels of the headphone, which has been available since 1910.

According to mobile app firm Flurry, people spend more than 50 minutes a day playing games on their phones. That’s totally cool. Just do it on mute unless you’re in the privacy of your own home.