Cell phone use in the Lodge

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by M.M.Wood, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    I am just going to throw this out there because it is on my mind. I visited a Lodge last night that I had never been to. I was invited by a friend and I had not been to Lodge for a while so I was very excited. When we arrived we saw that most members were dressed in suit and tie. We went inside and realized that there was to be a Masters. I was very excited as this is a wonderful experience to be a part of, even more so if you get to participate which I did. This Lodge is of average size and seems to have a good mix of brothers that regularly attend. Once inside the Lodge Room I observed a brother that was txting while the WM was opening the Lodge and throughout the evening. I was really blown away that not only was he being so disrespectful to the WM and Brethren but to the candidate. I can honestly say that at my regular Lodge I have never seen this and it honestly bothered me. I guess I can see if you had an emergency or were waiting for some important communication checking your phone but sending and receiving txt messages while the Lodge is open???? Am I the only one that is put off by this??
     
  2. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Keep in mind each lodge is different and what we would never do at our home lodge may work just fine at another. I have to say I agree there is a better time to text than in lodge but do not let it erk you and certianly do not hesitate to whisper counsel in that brothers ear as well. This will be an issue many lodges will have to deal with soon though.
     
  3. M.Prejean

    M.Prejean Registered User

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    Apparently this wasn't the case in your observation, but keep this in mind when you see brothers in lodge with phone in hand. At my lodge when discussion is had regarding upcoming events, a handful of brothers pull out their pocket calendars and write down information. The rest of us put it in our phone. But I agree with you, texting seems disrespectful. Especially during a degree.
     
  4. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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    I can't imagine texting during a called or stated meeting as appropriate and accepted!

    If it's an emergency step out and handle it. If it's a protracted deal, stay down stairs or out of the lodge room proper and take care of it. Maybe for a MM you could go back in for Part II.

    Using your phone's calendar, at the appropriate time, is no big deal...I keep alot of my stuff on my phone calendar.
     
  5. Preston DuBose

    Preston DuBose Registered User

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    I think openly texting in lodge is pretty disrespectful, but I definitely refer to the calendar on my phone when we start scheduling. As a Junior Warden, I have even used my phone to access the Grand Lodge's website to read aloud the monthly education program after forgetting my printout at home.
     
  6. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    He could have been texting another brother of the lodge, "Where are you, the WM is opening..." or something along those lines. I know that's been the case in our lodge before, but typically cell phones are on vibrate and put away.
     
  7. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    This also happens at our lodge, and it bothers me too. I understand when people are inputing dates, checking times, or for on call or emergency purposes, but using it out of boredom is just disrespectful, especially when someone is speaking to the lodge.
     
  8. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    I agree 100% about the calendar, accessing the GLOT site and emergency calls. The brother in question started txting at the opening of the Lodge and continued throughout the degree. I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. He was not sitting close to me ot I would have politely advised him of the disrespect.
     
  9. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Thankfully, I have never witnessed this kind of thing. I, too, understand the use of the calendars and using the phone for some sort of reference when needed. I can even see if one would have been waiting on a time sensitive email or something of that sort, but you don't have to spend the whole time tapping away on the phone. If it is something that needs your attention for a few minutes, step out properly and take care of it. The same as if it was an emergency situation. I know that "what works in one lodge, works for that lodge", but I do like to see that the lodges are all on the same page on most things.

    To combat my urge to respond to text messages or incoming emails, I just leave my phone out in the dining room with my ballcap and my keys. Lol, that also helps in case I set some sort of alarm and forgot about it and then it goes off right in the middle of lodge...

    I know that we are all tied to this technological world, but I would be in favor of leaving all cell phones outside the lodgeroom while lodge was open. Just because I really like the history and ritual of the Craft and while in lodge, I like to think that I am participating in the same thing that was taking place more than a couple hundred years ago. Kind of how I like the idea of real candles instead of light bulbs in the lodgeroom. Like, I just pretty much pretend we are just wearing different clothes. Even though we are "speculative", we are participating in an event that is supposed to be "ancient". They didn't have cell phones back then....lol But I do totally understand the fact that some of us have family members that are ill or that may need to get a hold of us suddenly, and there are even some of us that don't want to cut that line of communication with family JUST in case something does happen, so I wouldn't actually push for this kind of rule thing. I will just continue to leave my phone outside the lodgeroom and go about my merry little way..lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  10. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    The lodges I go to are very young, with median ages in the lower 30s. We text a lot in lodge, oftentimes to each other. It's not really seen as disrespectful, I suppose.
     
  11. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I can see that. If the majority of the guys are texting in the lodge, and the lodge gets by just fine, then So Mote It Be. I personally don't do it cause of the reasons I previously stated, but also because I guess I am one of those few that is for the most part fully interested in what is going on in the lodge at the time and doesn't get bored....lol I don't think that it would bother me to the point that would actually say something to a Brother while in lodge or even afterwards.

    This does bring up a question for me though. Can a WM order everyone to leave thier cell phones outside the lodgeroom? Or even give an order that there is to be no texting while lodge is open unless it really is an emergency?
     
  12. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    Unless I'm on call, or expecting an important message/call, I can live without my phone for 1-2 hours. I think most brothers can too. Especially during or after a degree. I certainly don't think it would set a great first impression for a new EA. I would assume the WM could ask, or even make a motion to discontinue cell phone use during a meeting, with certain exceptions such as calendar function, on-call, or other understandable reasons.
     
  13. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I feel that it would incredibly rude to do that. I would use a calendar only. It's funny there are people who don't mind going without the phone when we are in an airplane traveling for vacation but when it comes to something like this or in church a lot of people can't seem to let it go for 5 seconds. I know like of some of of the Brothers here I can remember a time when cell phones were not commonplace. We functioned fine without them then and I am sure we still can today. I understand there are people whose professions require them to have one all the time because I had one of those jobs and I don't miss that at all! Some people need to stop and think about others every once in a while. In this case if I would have been the candidate I probably would have started questioning if this was the right thing to do after all.
     
  14. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    I would imagine that he could indeed do that.
     
  15. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    The WM has the gavel. He does what he wants. :)
     
  16. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Yes absolutely the Master can order this but that would probably cause some tension and hamper peace and harmony. I think it is more appropriate to deal with the people doing it disrespectfully than make a blanket rule for the lodge.
    If you ever wonder if the master has the power to do something in lodge, remember the lesson of the 3 tapers in the EA degree.
     
  17. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    If the master reminds everyone to place there phone on vibrate it usually acts as a reminder to good men that cell phones should not be a distraction while lodge is open and only come out for good reason.
     
  18. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

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    I text all the time from the my station in the west. A lot of time if it is in a degree, it is to make changes that otherwise cannot be said aloud or when one cannot move about the lodge room. I do not find it a disrespectful thing unless it causes a disturbance.
     
  19. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    Greetings from Hiram Lodge #1281 in Burin, Newfoundland in Canada

    I find this topic very interesting in these times and would like to add mt 2¢. While in the lodge I feeling g texting is not acceptable and disrespectful to the WM and the lodge itself. in my opinion the floor of the lodge is to conduct Lodge business and Masonic Education. Texting to outside parties takes away from a MM abilility in either. I see no reason not to access a Calendar and to have a phone on vibrate in the event of an emergency although having a phone accesible to the tyler outside the lodge floor could suffice as well for that purpose. Its only a couple of hours, if the lodge meant enough to join it should mean enough to stay away from a phone for a couple hours.
     
  20. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Brothers,

    I am glad I posted this topic and there have been a lot of interesting replies so far. I guess I have read some of the replies and I still don't agree with it. I feel that, as stated before, using the calendar feature or emergency situations is one thing but txting for any other reason is something different. Just think before the boom of cell phones, smart phones and txting how did our brothers make changes to a degree that couldn’t be said out loud? In this situation the WM at this Lodge that I was visiting told us to put phones on vibrate and that was it. I feel it is common courtesy to refrain from txting or using the phone in the Lodge.
     

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