Trend: Dead Take Cell Phones With

There are days when the multiple cell phones in our house just never seem to stop jingling, vibrating on the kitchen counter, and playing horribly repetitive song snippets. I swear these devices are going to follow me to my grave.

For a lot of people, they do.

More and more people are taking their cell phones to the great beyond, according to an MSNBC.com article.

"It seems that everyone under 40 who dies takes their cell phone with them," says Noelle Potvin, family service counselor for Hollywood Forever, a funeral home and cemetery in Hollywood, Calif.

The evidence is anecdotal, but the trend is clear, several funeral types say. Frank R. Perman Funeral Home, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa., says with the prices of gadgets coming down, the trend will only grow.

And why not? Humans have been taking things to the great beyond for millennia. Vikings were placed in ships filled with goodies and buried or sent to sea. Tombs of ancient Egyptian rulers were packed with gold.

In most cases, a little help from the living is required to get these things packed and shipped.

Indeed, in at least some cases nowadays, the phone is left on and clipped to the hip of the deceased by a remaining loved one who plans to call later, proving that you really can't hide, even in death, at least until the batteries run out.

A separate trend away from traditional burials works against all this, however. Those who are cremated or buried at sea (another growing dying trend) would get lousy reception.

Robert Roy Britt is the Editorial Director of Imaginova. In this column, The Water Cooler, he takes a daily look at what people are talking about in the world of science and beyond.