Okay. So you’re on a plane, and you finish up your work and close your laptop. You glance across the aisle, and realize that a person near you is watching porn. What do you do?
According to a recent article from USA Today, looking at other passengers’ phone and computer screens is called “shoulder surfing,” and it is likely here to stay.
“It isn’t just that mobile devices are enormous and sport bright, crisp screens. It’s that travelers can’t seem to look away.”
It’s so true! There is something about a video a few rows up that just draws your eyes. People are naturally going to check out what you’re doing. So do you have a responsibility to keep it PG? The woman in the article whose seatmate was looking at porn asked him to stop, and then complained to the flight attendant. Eventually she was moved to an empty middle seat. When she complained to Delta, she was sent a brush off form letter.
I get why she would be mad—if the person right next to you is watching something extremely graphic, whether it’s X-rated or violent, it can be really disturbing and upsetting. But do you think about how the people sitting around you will react to your movie? It seems like most people just find something entertaining and watch it. But there should definitely be a line, especially when it’s likely that kids will be able to see.
The etiquette gurus quoted in the piece were surprised that basic etiquette, like “Don’t watch porn on a plane!” have to be explained to people. For some reason, people like to treat airplanes and trains as their own personal transportation vehicles, and forget about the other hundred people flying or riding along with them. I think it boils down to one thing. When you’re traveling, be considerate to the people around you. Don’t wear perfume, don’t take up all of the overhead bin space, be polite as you get to your seat, and for pete’s sake, don’t watch porn. Or, if you think you’ll be watching something someone may find objectionable, use a privacy screen.
Readers, what do you think? Are you responsible if someone is offended by what they see on your computer?