NeoBytes :) The curious habits of mobile phone users at funerals

NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.

There are few occasions quite as solemn as a funeral. An opportunity to say a final goodbye to those we care about the most - or in some cases, those we pretended to care about so we could use their pool in the summer - funerals are generally quiet, dignified affairs, filled with poignant memories, a few tears here and there, and perhaps a few amusing stories about the deceased. If you're in the UK, however, it seems that there's a good chance you'll have been at a funeral where a smartphone has caused the kind of interruption that might have some spinning in their graves. 

Research carried out by OnePoll for The Co-operative Funeralcare - which evidently takes such matters very seriously - looked into the phone-using habits of funeral-goers in the UK. It found that 40% of Brits staunchly refused to switch off their phone while at a funeral, and although 30% had the decency to put their phone on silent, a surprisingly high 10% decided it would be appropriate to leave their ringtones on during the service, leaving the door wide open for their Macarena or Crazy Frog ringtone to interrupt proceedings, loud enough to wake the dead. 

One in six Britons confessed to having made or received a call, texted or accessed social media while at a funeral service, with 6% having accidentally - and audibly - received a call, text or email during the service. 16% said that they'd seen someone at a funeral "frantically trying to turn off their phone which has started ringing". 

Those living in and around London and Manchester are the most likely to make or accept a call during a funeral, while those working in the transport and distribution industries are most likely - almost 30% of them - to refuse to turn off their ringtones during the service. 1 in 40 of those living in the East Midlands region admitted they'd filmed a funeral service on their phones. 

What's perhaps most bizarre about the research - well, other than the fact that it was carried out in the first place - is that a funeral was clearly identified by respondents as the most inappropriate place to use a phone, with 70% identifying it as such. Regardless, many Britons are clearly comfortable with the breach of etiquette to post a status update on Facebook or to send a cheeky text to their bit of crumpet, even as the embalmed cadaver of the deceased lies before them. 

Still, at least they're not playing Candy Crush. Or Z0MB1ES (on teh ph0ne). That would be in very poor taste indeed. 

Source: The Co-operative Funeralcare | via Coolsmartphone
Woman with laptop in coffin image via Shutterstock

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I call this mobile turrets. If you keep checking your phone every 10 seconds for a txt or message and there is nothing there then you have it. I see it on the train station all the time. PUT YE MOBILE AWAY YE PLEB it will ring or vibrate if you get something. A pet hate of mine is you are stood face to face with someone talking to them and they get a message or something and they immediately pick up the phone and start tapping away... I just stop mid sentence and walk away. Got no time for people like that. its just about bearable if they say "Just let me get this"

I leave mine at home or in the car. Nothing is as important as the event you are attending.

Even if I'm out at dinner on a date I leave it on silent.

I admit that I don't turn my phone off during funerals, but I always set it to silent. So far I don't think I've received a phone call or message during the service, but if I did I would probably glance at it and then put the phone away, waiting until after the service to reply.

I apply the same etiquette at the cinema as well, and it angers me no end when someone's phone goes off!

The key to this is don't have any friends, then you will not be bothered.

My girlfriend recently left her phone somewhere for a few days and couldn't get it back. She said, after a while, that she was enjoying the freedom of not having texts or calls... but I never have those anyway. So for me to loose my phone, just means I have a screen I can't stare at.

Play what ever ... rather watch p0Rn ... but remember What go around come around as well!
At such occasions the notion that I'll be in the same place the other person is, just can not escape my mind. Scary but helps me remain human.

Torolol said,
Living phone > Dead person, 10% said so

This is why it's good to sneak a spare phone into the coffin and call it a few minutes later.

This happened at a funeral I attended last September and a lot of people were angry about it. I always set mine to silent anyway.