Public Discussion of Personal Matters on the RT—Is It Too Much?

One of the most fascinating things about traveling on Sac RT buses and light rail on a regular basis is watching the development of relationships between operators and passengers who share the same trips on a daily basis. The topics of conversation range from the mundane to the very personal.

Recently, I was witness to a conversation between a female driver and a female passenger which moved from a general discussion of boyfriends/significant others to a very detailed comparison of their respective ‘baby daddys’ and also graphic discussion of the ins/outs of their respective pregnancies.

It was strange…and awkward, at times…to be an “ear witness” to such normally personal and private matters being discussed on a public transport at a volume where other individuals present cannot help but overhear what is being said.

While you would think that such intimate discussions would be the exception rather than the rule, the reality is that people will talk either among themselves or, thanks to modern technology, on their cell phones, about the most personal matters without a second thought even on public transportation and not give it a second thought.

So, the questions I have for you, gentle readers, are these: what is the most personal matter you have heard discussed on either a Sac RT bus or light rail route? Have you ever thought to yourself that you were learning TOO much about the people you were sharing public transport with?


One comment

  1. I hear people talking way too personally all the time in airports too — either on a mobile phone or to a family member or colleague. One difference is that you will see the same people again and again on a transit route, while often, I will never see the people from the airport again.

    The tendency to overshare, and to overshare publicly, is one that will likely only get worse with the influence of social media. Just because we can does not mean we should, but too often it means we will.

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