I thought, “surely, no one will wear Bluetooth earpieces at church.” It can’t happen. But then I started to see them pop up all over town and I got nervous that they would eventually infiltrate our sanctuaries. Then I got an email from a friend that said during her Christmas candlelight service, there was a small blinking light emitting from the dark amidst the warm glow of candles. Blink, blink went the Bluetooth earpiece of someone wearing it. Blink, blink went my horrible trend emerging warning light.
Even after hearing that story I was planning to put my head in the sand and ostrich the whole thing away. But then I got a Bluetooth earpiece for Christmas. My father-in-law re-gifted me one and suddenly I was confronted with the opportunity to become “that guy.” And it’s easy, it’s such a subtle slide to becoming the guy that wears it all the time. Here’s what goes through your head:
“This thing is kind of cheesy, but I have to admit, it’s so simple to use. I just hit one button on my ear and I’m talking to people. That’s great. And it makes me feel like I’m in the secret service or some sort of international spy.”
“I love this thing. But where do I keep it when I’m not using it? They don’t give you a satchel when you get one. I need some sort of caddy to place this thing in when I go inside the store. I don’t want to just leave it in the car. I guess I have to wear it inside.”
“Wow, this isn’t so bad at all. I wore it everywhere. It’s so much easier than taking it on and off all day.”
“Oh shoot, I’m walking into church and forgot to take this Bluetooth earpiece off. I hate having things in my pocket. Maybe I’ll just leave it on. It’s not like I’m going to answer calls or anything. It’s kind of like a cool fashion accessory for your face. It’s like an earring that also receives calls. It’s cool right?”
No, no it’s not. It’s decidedly not cool to wear your Bluetooth earpiece at church. Here’s why:
1. It completely throws off the meet and greet time.
Are you on the phone right now? The pastor said we should be shaking hands with the people around us but I’m not sure if you’re having a conversation with me or someone in your ear. I’m going to lean in for the hand shake but unless you make eye contact with me I’m going to bailout at the last second and shake the hand of the guy behind you because I think you might be on a phone call right this second.
2. You look like your waiting for a better offer.
Whenever someone blackberries or starts texting on their iPhone in the middle of a conversation we’re having I naturally assume they just received a better offer than whatever I was throwing down. Like maybe I wasn’t being funny enough or interesting enough or didn’t offer as many cool apps and they suddenly realized, “Whoa, I can instantly end this average conversation and escape to a world of fantastical Internet proportions but not feel guilty because physically I’m still here.” And I’m pretty sure that’s how God feels when He sees you wearing a Bluetooth earpiece at church. Like maybe you’re waiting to see if the sermon starts to slip and if it does, it’s Bluetooth time baby.
3. Your one step closer to becoming “that guy.”
Constant exposure to the earpiece is one of the ways the insidious folks at the Bluetooth Cartel get you. The longer you wear it, the more you start to believe that perhaps getting a phone chip surgically implanted in ear is actually a good idea. Next thing you know, you’re getting a bar code, we’re all shaving our heads and wearing aerodynamic gray leotards and drinking test tubes of bright yellow energy drink while sitting on cold, white, Lucite furniture from Design Within Reach. You think I’m joking but don’t blame me when life becomes like the movie “the Island” starring Hollywood’s Ewan McGregor. (I just referenced a movie 19 people saw and a fairly obscure home décor catalog. Odd.)
Perhaps this is just another silly exaggeration at the hands of a silly blogger, but I assure you I am not joking about the impact of Bluetooth earpieces on the rightness of the world. My wife and I made a pact when I got mine for Christmas. She’s promised to punch me in the face if I ever get even close to becoming that guy. That’s how deep our love runs.