Cell Phone Usage in Meeting

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What do you think about usage of cell phones in meetings? Example – I go to a large candlelight meeting where there may be 100 people attending. The lights go out and you can see 20 faces glowing from use of cell phones. Personally, I don’t care what people are doing (facebook, playing games, etc.). When I go to a meeting I try to be present; listen to hear a newcomer that might need help or someone’s message that might help me that day. But, I have been at meetings where people have taken pictures of other addicts in the meetings. That is not cool and is expressly prohibited. In a discussion I had with someone recently he said “cell phones shouldn’t be allowed in meetings” for that very reason. What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Cell Phone Usage in Meeting

  1. Some people use cellphones/tablets for lituture reading . I to have been in candlelight meetings where faces are aglow . I’ve only been irritated by devices going off but slowly it’s irritating me less ss I must realize its not first thought fir some to silence their device. Boy wa I irritated when my own went off. We all are human and forget. I still must focus on what I need to hear in this life saving program.

  2. When I use my cellphone in a meeting, it’s because I have literature downloaded on it or the just for today meditation. Sometimes I don’t like bringing all my books. I don’t use my cellphone in the meeting except for the above reasons. If the call is that important, they can leave a message or I will step outside. I also have enough time in the day to surf the web, so that I don’t have to do it in a meeting.

  3. I will often use my phone (or tablet) for literature access. I’m also guilty of checking mail during meetings – it is a bad habbit that I am trying to get out of. Personally, I don’t care if you want to spend all your time messing with your phone. I don’t find it that disturbing.

    What I do find disturbing is people coming in and out of meetings. I’m old enough to remember the days before cell phones. We survived just fine. The call is not that important. I also see people going in and out in groups – to smoke or talk I assume. I would prefer for people to fellowship before or after the meeting. If you don’t want to be at a meeting, don’t go! It is very disruptive to have a constant flow of people going in and out of meetings.

    It all comes down to respect – respect for the meeting and the people in it.

  4. I’m considering leaving one of my regular groups because of people regularly carrying on conversations with other folks in the meeting, answering phone calls, and having their faces buried in their phones for whatever reason. I had one guy sitting next to me a few weeks ago doing some shopping on amazon during the meeting, a woman about a month ago playing a game on her tablet, and just this past week, a guy who had just gone off an a rant about “that god-damned facebook and that god-damned twitter” actually had the nerve to answer a call on his phone and carry on a conversation.
    I agree with Dexter – if you don’t have time to be present in a meeting, don’t bother going.

  5. I take my phone into just about every meeting I attend, I need to be reachable for my daughter. I NEVER take work/business calls. I NEVER check emails, facebook, text etc. Even so I wouldn’t like at all for someone to say i can’t have my own phone with me. However, there seems to be a growing number of people around whose mama must not have taught them any manners, it’s just plain rude to talk at all in a meeting, especially on a phone. Its just as disruptive to me as people coming and going. Also, a candlelight meeting is usually as serene as it gets for me, illuminated faces take something away from it. I can’t be in the moment and also checking my phone. I go to meetings for something I cannot get from a phone, human contact. I just wish some people had more respect. Making a rule against phone possession still doesn’t cure disrespect.

  6. Just left Fairbanks NA meeting where Pete spoke. Great speaker! I became annoyed by the lady next to me on Facebook, showing others her pictures and posts. The lady in front of me was also on Facebook doing the same. Meanwhile the guy behind me was with what appeared to be his mom, and he was crying. I know we addicts can be fidgety, but I wanted to reach out to the guy crying because he was obviously suffering. The two ladies on Facebook were just blatant and obviously werent listening. It was rude and set a bad example for the suffering guy. I understand using the cell for notes and honor that. I just wish people wouldnt consider a meeting a place to use social media. save it for after the meeting and show respect for those who really need and want to be there. Thats all I’ve got….

  7. As long as we’re sharing about “taking other people’s inventory…”

    What really bugs me is people who come to meetings and instead of focusing on the topic at hand, they spend their time passing judgement what others are saying & doing in the meeting.

  8. Recently, during the “NA related announcements” time at the start of a meeting, a member shared his own opinion that people should not use cell phones/ipads etc during the meeting because it bothered him and was disrespectful. This was not brought up as a topic, just this member expressing his opinion (and in my opinion, trying to exert control over the behavior of others). If it’s the conscience of the home group to limit use of cell phones then it should be stated as such during the opening of the meeting. But for one person to use time during a meeting to call out others feels angry and unwelcoming. Sure, I think an NA member is better served by turning off their phone and paying attention in a meeting rather than texting throughout it, but is it my job to tell them how to behave? We all know there are some people there simply to get court cards signed and are not yet ready to hear our message … does it serve NA to force them to listen? Why not ban all those who have court cards to sign (as I’ve seen done in some other fellowships), or prohibit parents from bringing kids, because these people might also disrupt a meeting? I suggest that, until NA comes out with a position at a world/national level, then it’s up to each home group to decide for itself how to handle this, and say so at the start of each meeting (as they already do regarding smoking, talking, etc).

  9. I agree that until there is an official NA position, it is up to each group to decide how to deal with etiquette rules such as cell phone usage. I too have felt irritated at times, but realize it is up to me to forgive and ignore distractions. NA meetings need to be welcoming, especially for the newcomer. If a rule prevents an addict from attending NA meetings, then that rule seems to get in the way of carrying the NA message. At least the addict is staying clean while they are using their cell phone in a meeting. (I pray that they are not texting their dealer, but I have no control over that.)

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