Secondhand Cell Phone Chatter

Does listening to a one-side cell phone conversation while you’re drying your salon manicure or standing in the supermarket line make you bonkers?

Well, you’re not alone. It turns out that being subjected to these one-sided conversations can be nearly as distracting as, well, texting while driving.

Researchers at Cornell University, who recently reported their findings in the journal Plos One, say their research, suggest that being exposed to secondhand cell phone conversations is a more distracting form of background noise than listening to an animated conversation between two people.

Although researcher weren’t exactly sure why study participants were more distracted by a series of scripted one-side cell phone conversations (which focused on mundane topics such as furniture shopping and family birthday party) they noted understanding this element of human response has real implications  since Americans spent a whopping 2.3 trillion minutes on various wireless phones in 2012.