Public Politeness

An experience I just had makes me question whether or not people understand the concept of being polite in public anymore. In a university library, on the first floor, behind the book racks you would think that there would be an air of quiet and a relaxed academic environment… well, mostly there is. Now, add to that a person diagonally to the right behind you by maybe 6 feet chomping on corn chips. Also, to that add someone who has not turned off their Windows system sounds or bothered to mute their laptop, but sounds like they are navigating through their entire file tree. Now, on the opposite side, a few more feet back, add another person typing on a keyboard that is obviously not soft touch with her long fingernails hitting the keys in a rapid pace. Also, said person is on the phone. The academic usefulness of the environment has just fallen several points.

What has happened to being polite in public? Maybe I am just overly considerate, but if I have to eat in a public place that isn’t a restaurant, I tend to pick foods that are quiet (and usually have low aroma, but that’s just paranoia), and I always mute my laptop sounds, just because not everyone needs to know when I have mail (yeah, that was the other one, some guy logged into AOL and had mail, I shouldn’t know this information). I can’t really complain much about the nails and the keyboard, just situationaly unavoidable, and I probably sound a little loud on my keyboard as well since I tend to type based on emotion. Talking on a cell phone in a library I guess is more of a peeve than being rude, but at the same time, libraries are places to read, work and reflect. It is what it is for the purpose of some isolation.