Caught in a Jam

While I still partake in the occasional movie-going experience, the fun activity of seeing a film on the big screen has become a bit less enjoyable the past few years. The reason, of course, being cell phones. While the occasional cell phone hog (usually of the teenage variety) won't completely ruin my experience, nothing really diverts one's attention away from the action on the screen than the usual sing-song sound of a cell phone, and the quiet but audible gossip-filled conversation that follows.


So I've been pleased reading the news lately about cell phone jammers, devices used privately to eliminate the buzzing, beeping, and chirping of cell phones in places where silence is golden, such as churches and theaters. France may legalize the devices for private use, and while they are still illegal in Mexico, the devices have been used in churches with law enforcement generally turning a blind eye to the matter. Meanwhile, the jammers are illegal in the U.S.

The argument could be made that jammers infringe on personal property, whereas you are paying for the air time provided for you by the cell phone provider. Jammers, then, would prevent you from your paid 'property'.

This may be true if government made a law requiring each and every movie theater, concert hall, and place of worship to install these jammers. But just as restaurants should have the choice of offering a smoking area or not, private businesses should be able to provide "cell phone free" establishments (provided it's controlled enough whereas the low-frequency jam doesn’t wildly spill outside of the theater's or church's property). If you are a doctor who needs a cell phone turned on, or just a 15-year-old who cannot be 'incommunicado' from your friends for 2 hours, then you choose a theater without a jamming device. It's as simple as that. I just know where my dollars would be allocated.

That said, I’m crossing my fingers that the legalization of cell phone jammers is around the corner in America.

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I'm holding out for the

I'm holding out for the jammers that jam the jammers.

This from

This from Webster's:

Pronunciation: hwer-'az, hwar-, wer-, war-, (")(h)w&r-
Function: conjunction
Etymology: Middle English where as, from where + as
1 a : while on the contrary b : ALTHOUGH
2 : in view of the fact that : SINCE -- used especially to introduce a preamble

There are two issues here.

There are two issues here. One is whether you can put jammers on private property. It seems pretty reasonable to me to do so. The other is whether you can use a jammer, as a citizen, in a place like a movie theater.

That one is trickier. I'd say that in the movie theater, there is an explicit contract not to use cellphones (hence the video announcement about it), so you are justified in enforcing it. In other places though, it starts to seem like infringing on property rights.

I've been tempted to get a jammer. Here's a site: