Dave Chappelle: tech pioneer? The popular comedian, like other comics, has railed onstage against distracting cell phone devices, but Chappelle has taken things a step further by partnering with signal-blocking startup Yondr. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop:

The revered funnyman has entered into a deal with San Francisco-based Yondr to use that company's smartphone-locking pouches at a series of live shows this week in Chicago.... Attendees at any of Chappelle's 13 sold-out Thalia Hall performances will be greeted by staffers handing out gray smartphone sleeves, available in three sizes. They are then instructed to place their phones inside the sleeves and fasten them, at which point they are welcome to carry them inside the venue. As soon as they enter the "no-phone zone," however, the pouches will have locked shut, preventing anyone from firing off so much as a winking emoji.

How great would that be for meetings! As Inc.'s Tess Townsend recently reported, 94 percent of Americans believe it is inappropriate to take out your smartphone during a meeting. I'd gather that the same percentage of Americans has actually taken out their smartphones during meetings, too.

Tech-focused Silicon Valley has been struggling with cell-phone distractions for a long time, as I learned writing my book, Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed With Documenting Our Lives Online. Here's how some folks have been dealing with it:

  • Phonestacking: Everyone at a lunch or dinner meeting puts his or her cell phone in a pile. The first person to reach for their phone pays for the meal.
  • Airplane mode: Airplane mode turns off your cell-phone reception, which means you can use the basic phone apps without calls, emails, or the internet. (Also useful when you need a bit of quiet.)
  • Off-site meetings: Make important meetings outside of the city in areas with less cell-phone coverage. It removes the temptation to check email or online media.

Would you invest in cell-phone blocking bags? How much more efficient would your meetings be with a no-cell-phone policy?

Published on: Dec 7, 2015
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