Here in Vancouver, my relatives have kindly put me up in their large and convenient guest suite in their building. There’s not wifi in the suite, though, so I regularly visit their apartment to check email and the like.
Last night I got in after midnight, and went up to their apartment to use my laptop for a few minutes. For no particular reason, I didn’t turn any lights on.
One of my hosts woke up and walked into the living room with her back to me. She didn’t see me. I’ve got about five seconds to decide how I should startle her: by speaking up or by just letting her turn around and see me (it’s dark, so I’d have kind of a ghostly glow from my laptop screen).
I opted to speak up, and, yes, I scared her. I accidentally do that to people quite often, even in broad daylight. Either it’s my deep voice, or I’m unintentionally sneaky.
In that situation, which way would you prefer to be shocked? Aurally or visually?