May 29, 2004
I Broke Ya Nokia
Fifteen minutes into the movie Mean Girls, this woman strolls into the movie theatre, pressing an infant to her chest with one hand, and a cell phone to her ear with the other. She shuffles across an entire aisle full of people to get to her seat (which happens to be my aisle), crosses in front of me, then plops down right next to me to continue her conversation. The baby coos at me. I shoot a dirty look at it in the dark.
I could probably have tapped the woman on the shoulder and asked her to be quiet, ensuring two hours of mutual scowling awkwardness between us.
Or (I actually thought), if I wanted to do it guerilla-style, I could have discreetly turned on my SH066PL2A cell phone jamming device.
Sitting in the theater, I didn’t know whether such devices were commercially available, but listening to the woman babble, I thought, “Wow. What a retail coup that would be! Cell phone jamming!”
Some quick Google-fu reveals that, although illegal in the U.S., jamming is pretty popular across the Atlantic. This Slate article says it won’t stay underground for long, even here. (U.S. customers are the biggest foreign market for the personal jamming devices, according to the article.)
I think if I had access to such a technology, I couldn’t bring myself to use it. But I wonder. And I wonder what society will do when our ability to intrude on the “private” spaces of total strangers gets even more virtual.