Banning Cell Phones

A Wall Street Journal article illustrates the futility of banning cell phones during meetings. Despite research that people aren't nearly as good as multitasking as they think, people can't seem to control themselves.

Ban phones.jpg

In a fit of frustration, Jason Brown, the chief executive of Brown, Parker & DeMarinis Advertising, told his staff, "Don’t show up at a meeting with me with your phone. If someone shows up with their phone, it’ll be their last meeting.” But laptops and watches started creeping back, and people were too worried about missing clients trying to get in touch.

New tracking tools are at least making people aware of how much time they're spending on devices. Moment, an iPhone app, and a new Google program for the Android will tell you how much time you spend on your phone every day. With this knowledge, one manager cut his time from four hours to one hour.

Moment image source.

Cellphone ban image source.

Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that France has banned cell phones in schools, kindergarten through ninth grade. The hope is to reduce distractions send a "symbolic message."


  • How much time do you spend on your phone and other devices every day? Do you know?
  • Do you view phone time as a problem for you? Why or why not?
  • Part of the problem is our disconnection to other people. How have you seen this play out in a work or social environment?