Just Turn It Off: What We Need To Learn From The Patti LuPone Incident

Just Turn It Off: What We Need To Learn From The Patti LuPone Incident

The Broadway star paused mid-performance to confiscate the cell phone of a texting audience member.

Earlier this month, stage-legend Patti LuPone interrupted a performance of her latest play, Shows for Days, at Lincoln Center in New York City, having caught the glow of a cell phone projecting from the audience. On her way off-stage, she broke the sacred “fourth wall” between audience and actor to snatch the inconsiderate texter's weapon from their hands like a total boss.

This diva is not amused.

"We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones," LuPone said in a statement issued to Playbill, post-snatching. "They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else.”

Amen. So here’s the deal:

We live in a technology-driven society, whether we like it or not. We are now so dependent on our smartphones to provide instant access to the world around us, that we have forgotten how to live without them. Many people (and I am guilty of this too) cannot go one day without spending hours fixated on that little screen either texting or checking their numerous social media accounts. Unfortunately for some, it even proves an impossible feat to go without it for 60 minutes.

Trust me, I love my phone just as much as the next person, but we need to recognize when to put it down.

First, it’s called common courtesy. We all know that the theater, the dinner table, lunch with Grandma, or a car (especially a car) are not places where cellular devises belong. So why does it still happen?

As LuPone expressed in her statement, using your phone during an inappropriate time disrupts those around you and draws unnecessary attention to yourself – and not the kind of attention you want. In a theater, for example, you pay to experience a show that others have worked incredibly hard to put together. It is their job to perform for you, and to ruin it with a cell phone is not only disruptive, but incredibly disrespectful.

I’m sure you already know this, and chances are you’ve even witnessed it, but somehow, this is still an issue. I get it. Things come up, life happens, and we feel the need to be available 24/7 “just in case,” but I believe there are polite ways to deal with these situations. Exit the theater, excuse yourself from the table, explain the situation to your Grandma – this way you will avoid appearing inconsiderate and others will be more understanding. Next time, think twice before you immediately reach for that vibrating phone.

Then there is real face-to-face interaction. Yes, smartphones are incredible tools that house the power to connect with people from all over the world. But if human connection is what we want, the best way to truly receive that is in person. It sounds cliché, but the purest form of connection an individual can feel with another comes from actual human interaction – and I don’t mean through FaceTime. It is incredibly liberating to put your phone down and enjoy the company of others. Try it out. You will find yourself more engaged and honestly listening to the other person if you don’t have that LED screen by your side the whole time.

So take my advice: just turn it off. Unplug for a bit. There is a time and a place for cell use, but it is just as important to find time to live without it – even if it’s just for a few hours. Not only is it courteous to others, but it has to be beneficial for our mental health as well.

Cover Image Credit: http://brandonsteiner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/6a00d83451db4269e2015391c0ffbb970b-800wi.jpg

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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