It sounded like chatter at first.
But as it got closer I realized the noise sounded vaguely familiar.
Turns out, the group of teenagers coming up behind us had an iPhone blasting “Happy” from the cell phone’s speakers.
And despite the song’s upbeat message, hearing it on the trail didn’t exactly make me feel like dancing.
I’m not sure when it became popular to listen to music eking out of tiny speaker on a mobile device, but it’s rather annoying. Not everyone wants to hear Pharrell — or anyone, for that matter — especially when you’re trying to enjoy the serene sounds of nature.
It’s one of many complaints about cell phone users — and one that no doubt prompted etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore to declare July National Cell Phone Courtesy Month back in 2002.
“Wireless phones and other electronic devices have become so important to keeping people in touch with information they want and need,” said Whitmore in a statement. “It’s important to educate people about the proper way to use these devices so that they’re still in touch but not annoying those around them.”
Here are some others — and see if these pet peeves annoy you, too:
• When the person you’re having dinner with can’t stop snapping photos of the food, checking Facebook or texting someone else. The worst? When he interrupts the conversation to tell you how many “likes” his photo of his salad got.
• When you’re in a public bathroom and the person in the next stall is having a conversation with someone. The worst? When that person admits she’s in the bathroom talking on her cell phone.
• Annoying ringtones, period.
• When people are so distracted by their cell phone conversation they don’t realize what’s happening IRL around them. Like chatting in line at the bank or while ordering coffee at Starbucks — and holding everyone else up. Multitasking that includes phone convos just don’t work.
• When people leave voicemail messages that say something like, “Hi, call me back.” That could’ve been a text. At least explain what you’re calling about.
• Voicemails in general.
Got a cell phone pet peeve?
And if you do what’s on this list, just try to refrain this month. That’s all we’re asking.