I’m not really too sure why Twitter was singled out in the news today when it was announced that cell service will be blocked during the Royal Wedding this Saturday, but one thing is for sure, there will be no tweeting of any kind. In fact, with the loss of all cell service, you can say goodbye to Facebook and every other social networking program.
According to Yahoo!, authorities are instituting signal-blocking technologies inside Westminster Abbey during the entire length of the ceremony. I’m not here to report that news because the article already does a fine job of that and really, what else do you need to know?!
However, after reading this, my interest was piqued and now I’m wondering why more and more places and events aren’t using this technology. I can think of a million times when this would serve great purpose, but to save you time (and energy) I’ll just list my top five:
- Movie theatres – I don’t care who you are or how popular you may be; there is no valid reason whatsoever for you to be texting or making/receiving calls in the middle of a movie! And while we’re on the topic, you shouldn’t be talking either.
- Restaurants – You’re there to celebrate an event, spend time with a loved one, impress a date or just to have conversation with your close friends. The point being made here is that anyone you should be talking to is already at the table, not on a phone.
- Museums – Most museums are quiet, tranquil places for people to soak up some culture and feel connected to history. There’s no need to conduct a business meeting while gazing at a Van Gogh.
- Weddings – The sheer fact that you aren’t cognizant of turning your phone off (or at least on silent) when you’re at a wedding says volumes about your personality and lack of respect for two people who have spent thousands of dollars to make the day perfect while also providing you with free dinner.
- Public transportation – I don’t use public transportation that much, but when I was in New York, I was all over the subways. Fortunately I never ran into any talkative passengers because there is no service underground, but I can imagine what it would be like to be stuck on a bus with someone that just won’t shut up!
I’m all about the latest in technology, but I do have some sense of civility left. In the aforementioned locations, it’s not always about being kind to your neighbors, but it’s also about being respectful to your surroundings. As with anything in life, there is a time and a place for using a cell phone and taking calls.
Signal blocking devices
Fortunately, we no longer have to wait for disrespectful people to hang up their phones. We can now buy our own signal-blocking devices and carry them wherever we go. I found a fairly cheap one on Deal Extreme for about $26. This little thing gives you about a 30 ft range in which you can block all cell phone services! On the battery, it’ll last for about 3 hours so that’s plenty of time to get that nap in you were hoping for. For an even larger model, get one that looks like a router and start blocking signals up to 30 meters away!
The problem with such devices is that they are illegal in many countries including the U.S. so good luck getting one and don’t get caught. In the U.S., a fine can be issued in the amount of $11,000 and you could serve jail time. While this is absurd in my opinion, I do understand that signal jammers not only block the annoying cell users, but also anyone else in the area and that could pose a major problem should someone actually need to use their phone for emergency purposes.
The only alternative to not using these devices is to teach people cell phone etiquette and hope for the best. Whatever happened to everyday manners?