I'll admit that as of late, I've been traveling on airplanes quite a bit and have gotten used to long stretches of travel time without the interruption of the cell phone. Even better, without the interruption of OTHER people yapping it up on their cell phones (sometimes you wish that PEOPLE had a volume control). This is why I hope airlines continue to resist allowing passengers to use cell phones in flight.
In any case, last week I took a ride on the train -- something I haven't done in a while -- and I'd forgetten how much of an issue cell phone use is on those trips home in the evening. Many people look forward to a good nap on the ride home so that after a long day at work, they can be refreshed when they arrive home to meet their family.
So I'm sitting there on the train, and I met a friend of mine who I used to see often when I rode the train a lot. We chatted for a bit before he told me he was going to take a short nap before his stop. Suddenly, two rows ahead of us, a cell phone rang. And you just knew what was going to happen next...
"HELLO!?... YES!!... WHAT??? I'M ON THE TRAIN!..."
And so everyone on the train was disturbed by this man's conversation. Nothing new here, right? Well, my buddy turns to me and says "watch this" and he pulls what looks like a walkie talkie out of his briefcase. He presses a button, a little red light turns on, and 10 seconds later, you hear the following from the passenger on the phone...
"HELLO? ARE YOU THERE? DARN CELL PHONE COVERAGE..."
Then my friend explains that the walkie talkie is a cell phone jammer. With a fully-charged battery, he can block cell service for about half of the car we were in. These jammers are illegal in the states, but can be acquired easily enough on the internet. Such a hand-held battery-powered jammer runs about $285 -- a small price to pay for peace and quiet, and a good nap on the train ride home from work.
Of course, the question arises, is it right for someone to block cell service for so many people just to grab a few minutes of shut-eye? While the person yelling on the phone is certainly violating cell phone etiquette, is the person doing the jamming any better?
Wherever Jameel is, he wears his Kippah and his blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael