SINGAPORE: A man took to social media to share that while riding the MRT, he came across a woman playing her music loudly and asked her “nicely if she could have a personal earpiece so that she could listen to it privately.”

“After all, the MRT is a shared space. She got defensive, eyes widened, raised her voice and insisted she can’t hear from her own mobile. She did not adjust her volume, and insisted (defiantly) she did not bring her own earpiece. There was clearly no reasoning with her,” the man shared on r/askSingapore on Friday (Jan 9).

In the post, the man also shared his own observations, stating that there have been far too many instances of people blasting music on public transportation and getting away with it. 

He also stated that the default response of simply walking away and not engaging with these types of people is precisely why noise pollution is tolerated in the MRT, as it sends the signal to others that it is permissible and acceptable to do so.

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“Singaporeans are generally non assertive, non confrontation. We will usually rather move ourselves quietly to keep the peace, instead of telling inconsiderate people that it is not right to blast their music,” the man noted.

‘I would do nothing. It’s impossible to change someone who doesn’t want to.’

In the comments section, numerous Singaporean redditors stated that there was no point in politely asking them to turn down their phone volumes since all they’ll get in return is a disrespectful response.

One redditor commented, “9 times out of 10, when confronted with a wrong, old aunties and uncles opt to have a shout match instead of actually rectifying the problem….which is why people say to just walk away. As you’re just wasting your time, breath and hearing talking to a human equivalent of a brick wall.”

While another redditor said “No use telling one lah. I ever seen one dude doing that then the uncle got defensive and keep insulting him. Thankfully others jumped in to defend the dude and asked the uncle to shut up.”

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One redditor also advised, “Well I would do nothing. It’s impossible to change someone who doesn’t want to. In fact it’s insanity. Unless what they are doing causes direct physical harm to others, it’s pointless trying to ask them to cease and desist. I would rather do something that I have 100% control of. Put on my own noise cancelling earbuds or walk to another train car.”

Other redditors, however, suggested other ways to deal with this type of behavior, such as “singing along to their music,” “fighting toxic with toxic, by blasting one’s own music too,” or “by watching kdramas aloud.”

More and more individuals are speaking out against noise pollution on public transportation, these days. One man even went to social media earlier this year to ask if it was safe to ask Singaporeans on the MRT to turn down the volume on their phones.

Read more: Is it safe to ask SG people on MRT to turn down the volume of their mobile phone videos/music/games?