Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ah, cell phone etiquette

I did not get my first cell phone until this past April, when my mother sent me one for my 20th birthday. This introduced me to the wonderful world of, Should I Turn My Phone Off Now? as well as Oh No, Did I Remember to Turn My Phone Off? I am especially sensitive to this, since I remember how in the past I always got pretty steamed at people who did not obey what seemed to me to be fairly intuitive "rules."

Like, putting it on vibrate when entering a movie theatre.

Or not answering the phone in a restaurant and carrying on a conversation.

However, I have to say that the rudest breach of basic etiquette I have ever seen (cellular etiquette, or otherwise) occurred a little while ago, when my sister Betsy and I went to church. We were at the Cathedral in Cleveland, waiting for Mass to begin. A cell phone began ringing behind us. Okay, maybe the guy forgot to turn it off. But then - get this - the guy answers the phone and starts having a conversation!

Now, I would be horrified at this behavior in any church, but most especially in a Catholic church, where one is supposed to maintain a certain (although certainly not necessarily absolute) silence, out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament. And not just an ordinary Catholic church, but the Cathedral of the diocese! Our talker went on and on, and he spoke very loud. I was just kind of shocked. The young ladies sitting in the pew ahead of us were pretty angry about it, too.

My question is, why on earth would anyone do this? What possesses someone to answer their cell phone in an obviously sacred place? It could be part of the overall lessening of reverence. Or it could be just bad manners. Probably a combination of both ...


  1. Wait, did this happen two weeks ago (or whatever) or is thiz a different person/time? People are so rude! :P

  2. well i guess the person's just gonna be in purgatory longer.....

  3. You can get sent to purgatory for using a cell phone in church? Interesting, lol.