One In Six Admits To Using Mobile Phone At Funerals

August 7, 2013
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Research by Co-operative Funeralcare reveals many people would not turn off device or even turn the sound down.

Even in death there is no escape from the familiar ping or ring of a mobile phone, with one in six people admitting to having made or received a call, texted, or used social media at a funeral.

Research by Co-operative Funeralcare found that even though funerals topped the public’s list of the most unacceptable times to use a phone – ahead of driving, at the cinema or during a wedding – two out of five people said they would not turn off their device while attending one.

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Of those, three out of ten would set it to silent, and one in ten would refuse to turn the sound down or turn it off.

One in 16 people admitted to having received a call, text or email message by accident while one in six people had seen someone at a funeral “frantically trying to turn off their phone that has started ringing.” Research was carried out among 2,000 men and women funeral attendees aged 18 and above.

At the funeral last month of the late Margaret Thatcher, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was spotted by cameras apparently texting on her mobile from her seat in a pew near the front of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Other examples cited in the study include a mourner in South Wales texting throughout a funeral service. At the graveside, as the coffin was being lowered in the ground, the same mourner’s mobile phone rang to the tune of If You Are Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands.

A separate survey of funeral directors revealed that almost one in five funerals they had arranged had been interrupted by the sound of a mobile phone ringing or pinging.

David Collingwood, operations director of Co-operative Funeralcare, said the use of mobiles had “become commonplace at events which would have been considered unthinkable only a few years ago”.

He added: “We are witnessing a cultural shift in society’s stance on funeral etiquette. Although people universally despise the use of mobile phones at funerals, many exercise double standards by frowning upon the use of mobiles by others when they are unwilling to turn the sound down or turn their own phone off.

[via: theguardian.com]

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