Hands-free devices are overrated. There, I said it. And yet people have been insisting on using the dumb things for years. Ever since Bluetooth became a household name, people have been strapping on an earpiece and yapping to their buddies without having to handle a cellphone. Sure, hands-free devices have their uses. I’m not trying to say they’re all bad. But you may want to keep in mind that you don’t look nearly as cool as you think you do.
Guys, They’re Not Safe
People like to use hands-free devices as a handy (I’m not apologizing for the pun) way to talk on the phone while driving. It all sounds convenient on paper, doesn’t it? You’re not manhandling a device when you should have both hands on the steering wheel and both eyes are on the road. Well, unfortunately, hands-free devices aren’t any safer than actually using a cellphone. In fact, studies from as far back as 2013 (and earlier) have shown that hands-free devices are actually more distracting than messing with a cellphone, adjusting the dials on the radio, eating, or dealing with your kids sitting in the back of the car. This even applies to those voice activated navigation systems in cars.
When you’re trying to call someone or you’re ordering your car radio to change its station, you can lose up to 27 seconds of focus, which is enough time for your car (if it’s going at approximately 25mph) to travel the length of three football fields. Since you’re not focusing fully while you’re using these devices, you have a lot of potential to lose track of what you’re doing on the road, which offers even more potential for road related disasters. Much as you might like to think otherwise, people aren’t very good at multitasking. You can’t do it all. Do yourself a favor and leave the headset at home.
Let’s be fair. Wireless connections have their charms. No one likes to deal with ugly wires. Part of the appeal behind a hands-free device has everything to do with the name. If you didn’t have to grope at your iPhone, wouldn’t that make phone calls easier?
When you start having connection problems, you have to admit that it makes using your hands-free device a little less fun and convenient than you were probably hoping for. Wireless devices are notorious for randomly dropping connections or having problems with interference. Let’s face it. Smashing your phone against your face at least means you’re spending less time trying to recalibrate your headset’s connection.
You Look Like a Dork
We all joked about it when hands-free devices first hit the market. When you saw a guy making a phone call on his Bluetooth headset, we mocked him for looking like he was talking to himself. A few years have passed since hands-free devices really took off. But let’s be perfectly honest here.
You still look like a dork.
Now, now. We’re not trying to mock you but it’s time that we finally came out with it. No matter how convenient you think it is or how technologically savvy you feel strapping your set on, it really doesn’t make you look any cooler.
Try talking to Siri out in public. No, really. Go do it right now. Did you notice people staring at you? Did you feel like an idiot? When you’re randomly shouting at something, whether it’s into your Bluetooth or at your phone, not only do you sound loud and obnoxious but you still look like you’re basically talking to yourself. And no one wants to ride the subway, order coffee, or even sit 10 yards near someone doing that.
You don’t have to give up your Bluetooth yet. But maybe consider that you’re not as cool as you think you are when you’re using it.
What you can do hands free? Install remote spying software.