Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Satan’s Devices

 

I’m still unhappy about what happened in church Sunday. We were following the sermon–an encouraging and faith building teaching session on how God uses the seemingly small and mundane incidents in our lives to further His own ends. Then someone’s phone dinged once. I felt irritated, but it was once. Then it dinged again. And then again. Not really loud, but enough to be a distraction.

I’m thinking, Really? Can’t you just shut that off for a little while? Is it that hard? (I had switched mine to vibrate right before church.) Then it just kept up with clusters of chimes throughout the service. I turned around slightly trying to figure out who it might be. I thought I had her pegged, a young woman who appeared to be openly texting in church. Mentally, I made a list of options for her: put it on vibrate, take it outside, or wait until later. I tried to imagine what could be so important that one had to carry on a text conversation right there. A medical emergency of some sort? Still, come on.

My younger daughter leaned over and asked if it was me. Nope, I had turned my sound off. People are something else. But I started to feel uneasy. When it was time to stand up, I picked up my purse and subtly checked my phone. Oh, horrors — there was a string of messages on the display. From my sister. I checked the switch. Instead of turning the sound off before church, I had turned it on. It had already been on vibrate from earlier that day. Sigh. My sister had chosen that morning to have a big group exchange with family members. About the weather in California, primarily, with bonus screenshot of the night’s temperature report from my little brother.

I feel like I owe the pastor an apology. I can remind him that this is one of those “little things” that God will use for His ultimate purposes. Right?

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  1. Owen Petard Member

    That’s funny. It seems to me that millennials are actually super conscientious about muting their devices. Whenever phones are ringing, dinging, etc. in public it’s usually us boomers and Xers.

    • #1
    • September 4, 2017, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Owen Petard (View Comment):
    Whenever phones are ringing, dinging, etc. in public it’s usually us boomers and Xers.

    Ha, ha–that’s probably true. I called my brother once when he was standing up at a wedding.

    This is not the first time my phone went off. About ten years ago, my old fashioned flip phone rang during church. I had been viewing rather harshly those undisciplined enough to allow their phones to go off in church. The pastor (same one we have now) was very gracious about it when I apologized.

    • #2
    • September 4, 2017, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I turn mine before church and meetings and such. It is remembering to turn it back on that is a problem (I leave it sitting on the desk a lot and the vibration mode only alerts me when it is flat on the desk rather than sitting on some papers.)

    • #3
    • September 4, 2017, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    It is remembering to turn it back on that is a problem

    I know! I’ve missed so many calls when I forget to turn it back on, turn up the volume, etc. My thoughtfulness backfires.

    • #4
    • September 4, 2017, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    This is a perennial problem — not rudeness (although that does happen) but honest mistakes, forgetting to mute the thing. Or, conversely, forgetting to unmute it and accidentally making yourself unreachable.

    I don’t know why it took so long, but the phone manufacturers are belatedly coming up with better ways to address the issue. I use an Android phone, and there are now various options for automatically silencing notifications under certain conditions (e.g. during certain times, or in certain places, or whenever a calendar event is in progress). And options for saying “mute alerts for the next two hours” or whatever. I’m sure iOS has similar options.

    But of course even then you have occasional software glitches. I suppose the question is whether you want to blame the software in your phone or the software in your head.

    • #5
    • September 4, 2017, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Blondie Thatcher

    This is funny. My phone is rarely on anything but vibrate. My favorite thing is to be in a meeting of supposed IT people and phones are going off constantly.

    • #6
    • September 4, 2017, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    For shame, sawatdeeka.

    Just think of all the people You had cursing You in Their head.

    There’s probably still a line to see the Pastor to ask forgiveness.

    • #7
    • September 4, 2017, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. PHCheese Member

    A while back our priest was talking about how he got his calling for the priesthood and just then someone’s phone rang. The Congregation cracked up.

    • #8
    • September 4, 2017, at 3:00 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Jules PA Member

    Very funny. I wonder how many people knew it was your phone?

    • #9
    • September 4, 2017, at 3:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Very funny. I wonder how many people knew it was your phone?

    I don’t even want to go there. They were probably wondering why I was ignoring it.

    • #10
    • September 4, 2017, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Very funny. I wonder how many people knew it was your phone?

    I don’t even want to go there. They were probably wondering why I was ignoring it.

    At a friend’s funeral, a phone started to ring, and I saw a woman furiously nudging and motioning to her elderly husband to turn off his phone. He finally got it out of his pocket and showed her that it wasn’t him. She turned really red when she finally realized it was hers.

    • #11
    • September 4, 2017, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  12. ST Inactive
    ST

    I have never owned a “handy” and am not convinced that they improve one’s quality of life. On the other hand, it does seem to be getting harder to do almost anything without one, and I may be driven to purchase one just because of that. Rental car agencies, health care providers, potential lovers, etc., look at you like you’re from another planet when they ask for your cellphone number and you tell them “ain’t got.”

    Signed,

    I will be dragged into the next century (21st) over my dead body.

    • #12
    • September 4, 2017, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  13. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One time, when I was in court (long story… well, not really. I just don’t want to tell Y’all why), They were taking roll call. About half way through a phone rang. Everyone turned in that Man’s direction as He was scrambling to get it out of His pocket to turn it off.

    Judge: Stand up.

    [He stands, head down. Won’t even look up]

    Judge: What’s Yer name?

    JS: John Smith.

    Judge: Do You know how many signs You passed on the way to My courtroom asking You turn off Yer phone?

    JS: No, Sir.

    Judge: At least 12. Two on the front doors as You enter the courthouse. Two at security check. Two on the elevator doors as You enter. Two inside the elevator doors as Yer in it. Two on the wall after You exit. And two outside My courtroom. More if You took the stairs to My courtroom.

    Baliff!

    The baliff walked over, grabbed the Man’s arm and escorted behind the judge’s bench behind the steel door.

    You should have seen everyone rummaging and rifling through Their bags, purses, pockets…

    • #13
    • September 4, 2017, at 4:56 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  14. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ST (View Comment):

    I will be dragged into the next century (21st) over my dead body.

    Gosh, I sincerely hope not. This would not only be regrettable, it also sounds extremely uncomfortable, and perhaps even physically impossible. Perhaps even spatially and temporally, as well.

    • #14
    • September 4, 2017, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @sawatdeeka, I suspect you’re in good company, here and everywhere. Yes, it’s happened to me, too, most unfortunately during a funeral a few years ago.

    Although the most embarrassing was probably when the Family She was sitting in an Eat ‘n Park (anyone from Western PA will understand the ambiance I mean), a couple of years ago when I got a phone call. I’d forgotten that, because I’d been doing some outdoor work on the farm, I’d turned the volume all the way up, and set the ringtone to “alarm.” It was extremely loud, sounded as if an ambulance was driving through the room, and several people actually stood up and started to evacuate the place.

    We have a saying around here when things go squiffy with technology–“who’s in charge, you or the computer?”

    Unfortunately, sometimes they are, it seems.

    • #15
    • September 4, 2017, at 5:12 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Kay of MT Member

    Was in a public meeting with Kaylett when my new iPhone went off, and I couldn’t seem to shut it down. She grabbed it and pressed a switch, one unknown to me. I didn’t get another call until a week ago when I was complaining about having no sound. She flicked another switch and I now have sound again.

    • #16
    • September 4, 2017, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  17. Chris B Member

    I use an app called Husher. The free version allows you to set scheduled times when the ringer will be automatically silenced or set to vibrate. It turns it back on once the scheduled time is up.

    If you set the ringer to silent or vibrate, it asks if you want to restore the ringer after 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours, etc.

    For a couple dollars, you can also get the premium version, which triggers automatically whenever you have a meeting in your calendar.

    It’s an Android app, but I’m sure someone’s made something similar for the iPhone.

    • #17
    • September 4, 2017, at 6:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. The Reticulator Member

    sawatdeeka:My younger daughter leaned over and asked if it was me. Nope, I had turned my sound off. People are something else. But I started to feel uneasy. When it was time to stand up, I picked up my purse and subtly checked my phone. Oh, horrors–there was a string of messages on the display. From my sister. I checked the switch. Instead of turning the sound off before church, I had turned it on. It had already been on vibrate from earlier that day. Sigh. My sister had chosen that morning to have a big group exchange with family members. About the weather in California, primarily, with bonus screenshot of the night’s temperature report from my little brother.

    I did that in a library once. Haven’t managed to do it in church.

    What I have done in church on occasion is follow along with the scripture readings using the Bible.IS app on my phone. I follow using one of the Russian versions. But I usually felt a little self-conscious about it, so didn’t do it much, even though I usually inserted the device in the fold of the hymnbook where it couldn’t be seen easily by others. But the real problem was switching from Old Testament to Epistle to Gospel. At the time (and maybe it’s still the case) I couldn’t switch from one book of the Bible to the other without having my internet service turned on, even though there was no good reason for the app to work that way. It didn’t work in airplane mode. And there was no easy way to save three bookmarks ahead of time for each the three readings so I could with one or two swipes and presses go from one reading to the next. It would be too distracting to me to be thumbing and scrolling at a time like that, never mind what it looked like to anyone else.

    I should check to see if any improvements have been made lately.

    Mrs R was at a ladies’ church gathering one time where she was following along (in English) using her smartphone. A little later the leader gently admonished the people who were using their cell phones when they should have been listening. Mrs R figured that admonishment was meant for her. That was a few years ago, and maybe the elderly ladies’ demographic has gotten more used to the concept by now. (The latest thing her weekday Bible study group did was go zip-lining across the Kalamazoo River. This group is mostly of the elderly ladies demographic. So if they can do that, maybe they’re used to smartphones in church.)

    Even before I had my first smartphone I suggested the reason we needed wi-fi service in the church building was so we could blog the sermons. Nowadays we’d use Twitter.

    • #18
    • September 4, 2017, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Randy Webster Member
    This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person is me. I had gone to catch a train, This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K.
    I was about twenty minutes early.
    I'd got the time of the train wrong. I suppose it is at least equally possible,"
    he added after a moment's reflection,
    "that British Rail had got the time of the train wrong. Hadn't occurred to me before."
    "Get on with it." Fenchurch laughed.
    "So I bought a newspaper, to do the crossword, and went to the buffet to get a cup of coffee."
    "You do the crossword?"
    "Yes."
    "Which one?"
    "The Guardian usually."
    "I think it tries to be too cute. I prefer The Times. Did you solve it?"
    "What?"
    "The crossword in The Guardian."
    "I haven't had a chance to look at it yet," said Arthur. "I'm still trying to buy the coffee."
    "All right then. Buy the coffee."
    "I'm buying it. I am also," said Arthur, "buying some biscuits."
    "What sort?"
    "Rich Tea."
    "Good choice."
    "I like them."
    Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round."
    "All right."
    "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table, on my left, the newspaper, on my right, the cup of coffee, in the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits."
    "I see it perfectly."
    "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me."
    "What's he like?"
    "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird."
    "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?"
    "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and . . ."
    "What?"
    "Ate it."
    "What?"
    "He ate it."
    Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment.
    "What on earth did you do?"
    "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it."
    "What? Why?"
    "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for, is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience, or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits."
    "Well, you could . . ." Fenchurch thought about it.
    "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?"
    "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur, "couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice,"
    he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open. . . ."
    "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line."
    "After my fashion, yes. I ate the biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," said Arthur,
    "it stays eaten."
    "So what did he do?"
    "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground."
    Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably.
    "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. What do you say? 'Excuse me ...I couldn't help noticing, er . . .'
    Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously."
    "My man .. ."
    "Stared at the crossword again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day . ."
    "What?"
    "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met."
    "Like this?"
    "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur,
    "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time."
    "I can imagine."”
    "We went through the whole packet like this. Him, me, him, me . . ."
    "The whole packet?"
    "Well, it was only eight biscuits, but it seemed like a lifetime of biscuits we were getting through at this point. Gladiators could hardly have had a tougher time."
    "Gladiators," said Fenchurch,
    "would have had to do it in the sun. More physically gruelling."
    "There is that. So. When the empty packet was lying dead between us the man at last got up, having done his worst, and left. I heaved a sigh of relief, of course.
    "As it happened, my train was announced a moment or two later, so I finished my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper . . ."
    "Yes?"
    "Were my biscuits."
    "What?" said Fenchurch. "What?"
    "True."
    "No!"

    Douglas Adams said this actually happened to him.

    • #19
    • September 4, 2017, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  20. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    ST (View Comment):
    I have never owned a “handy” and am not convinced that they improve one’s quality of life. On the other hand, it does seem to be getting harder to do almost anything without one, and I may be driven to purchase one just because of that. Rental car agencies, health care providers, potential lovers, etc., look at you like you’re from another planet when they ask for your cellphone number and you tell them “ain’t got.”

    Signed,

    I will be dragged into the next century (21st) over my dead body.

    Ditto…Don’t have one; so far, don’t need one…Besides, our ‘service’ here is bilge-water quality – and not likely to improve.

    • #20
    • September 4, 2017, at 6:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    It would be too distracting to me to be thumbing and scrolling at a time like that, never mind what it looked like to anyone else.

    I know–it just looks bad. My younger daughter has the Bible on a phone, but I encourage her to use her “hard copy” of the Bible for this reason.

    • #21
    • September 4, 2017, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    Douglas Adams said this actually happened to him.

    Bill Murray has been known to walk up to complete strangers in fast food restaurants, pluck a single french fry from their trays, eat it, and say “no one will ever believe you.”

    • #22
    • September 4, 2017, at 7:06 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  23. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Now might be an opportune time to change your alert tone….

    • #23
    • September 4, 2017, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. PHCheese Member

    Sure you heard the one about the old couple in church. The old gentleman tells his wife that he is glad no one heard him pass gas during the Gospel. She tells him to turn on his hearing aid.

    • #24
    • September 4, 2017, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. KatRose Inactive

    Owen Petard (View Comment):
    That’s funny. It seems to me that millennials are actually super conscientious about muting their devices. Whenever phones are ringing, dinging, etc. in public it’s usually us boomers and Xers.

    So true. In a theater, as the show was about to begin, a man a few rows ahead of us started to text. I was sighing disgustedly to myself when all of a sudden something flew through the air and hit his chair. He quickly turned off his phone. When I looked around to see who had done it, my daughter, a millennial, said she had chucked a Skittle at him. She shrugged like it was no big deal. I did not know whether to high five her or say that was wrong. But I had paid a lot of money for those tickets, so I silently congratulated her.

    • #25
    • September 4, 2017, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Randy Webster Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    Douglas Adams said this actually happened to him.

    Bill Murray has been known to walk up to complete strangers in fast food restaurants, pluck a single french fry from their trays, eat it, and say “no one will ever believe you.”

    I don’t think I could do that. They probably don’t have enough salt on them.

    • #26
    • September 4, 2017, at 9:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    KatRose (View Comment):

    Owen Petard (View Comment):
    That’s funny. It seems to me that millennials are actually super conscientious about muting their devices. Whenever phones are ringing, dinging, etc. in public it’s usually us boomers and Xers.

    So true. In a theater, as the show was about to begin, a man a few rows ahead of us started to text. I was sighing disgustedly to myself when all of a sudden something flew through the air and hit his chair. He quickly turned off his phone. When I looked around to see who had done it, my daughter, a millennial, said she had chucked a Skittle at him. She shrugged like it was no big deal. I did not know whether to high five her or say that was wrong. But I had paid a lot of money for those tickets, so I silently congratulated her.

    I kick the back of people’s seats. Normally they figure it out — phone comes out, seat gets kicked — but I did have someone turn around and complain. I just said, “Stop distracting me with your bright phone and I’ll stop kicking your seat.”

    • #27
    • September 4, 2017, at 10:16 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. I. M. Fine Coolidge

    KatRose (View Comment):

    Owen Petard (View Comment):

    So true. In a theater, as the show was about to begin, a man a few rows ahead of us started to text. I was sighing disgustedly to myself when all of a sudden something flew through the air and hit his chair. He quickly turned off his phone.

    Here’s one even better. Two years ago at Lincoln Center in a production called Shows for Days, star Patti LuPone walked right off the stage and up to a woman who was texting in the audience and snatched her cell phone out of her hands and took it back up on stage with her – without ever breaking character!

    • #28
    • September 4, 2017, at 10:17 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. MarciN Member

    A symphony of cell phones:

    • #29
    • September 4, 2017, at 10:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Back in the early 90’s when cell phones were the hot new thing, a friend of mine told me a story about a young Asian woman in a restaurant with a cell phone. Phone to her ear, she was chatting away, laughing occasionally, pausing to listen to the person on the other end, the usual stuff, all in the middle of this restaurant.

    Then her phone rang.

    • #30
    • September 5, 2017, at 10:47 AM PDT
    • 7 likes

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