Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 9, 2013

CONFER: Legalize cell phone jamming devices

Niagara Gazette — The development and mainstream adoption of cellular technology has been a boon to humanity. It has made the ability to communicate across great distances affordable and accessible and it has brought to the masses portable computers (smartphones) that connect their users to the world and its knowledge.

But, cellular devices aren’t perfect; after all, they are used by imperfect humans. While these gadgets have succeeded in making us smarter, they have, oddly enough, made us more ignorant, too. People have become so reliant on these machines that they forsake etiquette, good taste, and productivity to use them.

Look no further than your favorite restaurant. You pay your hard-earned money to relax and enjoy a nice dinner in peace. How often has that environment been sullied by ridiculous ringtones or other diners obnoxiously yelling (the default means of cellspeak) into their phones?

Or, check out our public schools where teachers have to try to teach kids of all ages who were, inappropriately, given their own phone that they secretly – even openly – use to send and receive text messages all day, distracting them from the truly important non-social matters of schooling. It’s no wonder our graduates aren’t college or workplace ready.

And, what about those workplaces? Countless hours of productivity are lost every day in every business when workers sneak calls, engage in endless text conversations or become glued to their browser.

Cellphones are everywhere and so are their abuses.

How do we stop the insanity? Why not let those who have a vested interest in those facilities exert some control where others’ self control is lacking? Grant property owners the ability to jam cellular signals, something that is currently illegal under the Communications Act of 1934 and subsequent amendments (anyone caught doing so now would be fined $16,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation, or up to $112,000 for a single act).

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