If your phone rings and you answer but only hear the caller and another person talking trash about you, should you respect their privacy and hang up or go ahead and listen to how they really feel? I believe any expectation of privacy by the caller vanishes the moment your phone rings. Thoughts?

Tags: butt, dial, evesdrop

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I DID. And was promptly accused of violating their privacy!

Alan, the 'caller' on the other end of the phone can "accuse" you of anything they like, it's up to the courts for any accusation to carry any merit. Also if it came down to having this brought into a court of law it's highly unlikely you would be held found guilty of violating their right to privacy, they were the ones stupid enough to call you.

Listening to a conversation on your own line after the phone has rung is a far cry from eavesdropping on a private conversation unknown to the participants. Of course their only defense is to accuse you, but by the time they do that you know who and what you are dealing with and need not take anything from them.

Privacy seems to be disappearing anyway. It is no longer respected by the general public. You are expected to answer everyone's questions and holding back is considered snobbish. People have no compunction about demanding answers from you. Sometimes you can stop them with "Would you repeat that? I can't believe I heard you correctly." That only works with people who have a degree of sensitivity and those are becoming fewer.

It was your line and your ring, so you have every right to listen. This much is the law! Once you start talking to them or talking back, this all becomes yet another thing and is covered differently. If we are heading for slander here, it must be remembered that they called you, and you did not call them. Slander is hard to prove when measured against free speech. If my name calling of you has caused you to lose livelihood and income, this is slander. If not, then it might just be my opinion.

I don't answer my phone unless I know who's calling. They can leave a message.

I think I would hang up the phone.  As far as I am concerned anyone can say anything they want to about me as long as I don't have to hear it.  If they are saying it to me then we have an opening to resolve what the difference may be.  Any person is going to alter behavior based only on hearsay is not a person that I am not interested in dealing with.  I have made it a point not to alter my behavior towards other people based on what I have heard.  I would fully expect that attitude from a peer.

I don't think much of privacy.  Privacy allows one more level of dishonesty.  

I think you are right. It is their fault . They are screwing themselves. It does seem to show a rather sensitive sence of possible moral outrage tho that you are going to t trouble of questioning t matter.

Your thing reminds me of a time a friend of mine called me up to by a bit of something for some other friends of his while quite drunk. I can hear him loudly proclaiming he could get them a great deal by pleading poverty. "I do it all t time. He always goes for it", I hear him saying.

That he had done that befor had been pissing me off rather, but he was a friend. But to hear him bragging about screwing me was a bit much. It's was not like either of us were a big wholesaler of this. But instead more like we would go in on a purchase together occasionally to lessen t costs. I believe I told him he ought to keep his money on that occasion, as he had so little to spare. Anyway, I got a kick out of how stupid he was behaving.

I remember yelling at him to warn him I could hear him. But I don't think he ever heard me.

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