With the number of digital devices like smart phones and tablets exploding, communicating with one another electronically is becoming a common part of our society.
And as many high school teachers know, thumbing on a keyboard can even go undetected if you're good.
Now, some communities are banning the practice of texting and e-mailing during public meetings.
The Detroit News has a piece on the restrictions some local governments have put in place. The piece looks at the restrictions in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and Sterling Heights.
From the Detroit News:
Supporters say the issue is about transparency and integrity, not to mention common courtesy. They argue email or even text conversations could violate the Michigan Open Meetings Act, which requires decisions and most deliberations to be public.
"It's about maintaining the integrity of this council and futurecouncils," said Maria Schmidt, a city councilwoman in Sterling Heights, which amended its council governing rules earlier this year to ban electronic communication during meetings.
But critics of the bans say technology helps these officials do their jobsmore effectively and efficiently. They call the bans "short-sighted."