When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently suggested they might jointly lift the ban on the use of cell phones during future commercial airline travel, they appear to have both appeased a segment of the frequent-flying business community and upset a larger segment of the flying public. The former group would like to have the ability — or at least the option — to make more effective use of cell phones to purportedly conduct business en route to destinations; the latter group is more horrified at the thought of constant, annoying banter from nearby passengers more or less from takeoff to touchdown. At present the use of cell phones is banned during most of the a flight.
Whether or not cell phones eventually are approved for in-flight use, they also continue to serve as a growing source of annoyment and frustration for many land-locked citizens, who find the constant, non-sensical chattering in all sorts of public and private places to be rude.
Among the creative solutions for dealing with this barrage of obnoxious one-sided conversations is a free, three-page PDF-based set of printable cards designed to be presented to cell phone users who are violating the privacy and space of others.
These so-called SHHH! cards [PDF: 460kb] — allegedly using the acronym for the Society for Handheld Hushing — were developed by Coudal Partners, a design, advertising and interactive studio in Chicago. The individual cards contain a set of standard statements, some which allow the user to enter additional details, that bring to a cell phone user’s attention his or her problematic behavior. It includes phrases sure to annoy the caller, such as ‘your babbling disregard for others is more than a little annoying,’ ‘The world is a noisy place, and you aren’t helping things’ and of course, ‘SHHH!’