Do I even need to explain this subject in-depth? I feel as though it has been beaten into our psyche enough with schools, at one point, being "no cellphone zones," the social ramifications of constantly whipping out a phone while on a date or hanging out, and even in movie/performance venue theatres. One would think that our society would be able to keep our phones away for a few hours. Well, apparently we cannot, hence the reason why this article is being written.
Now, we all love our phones. They have become a part of our daily lives and rituals, but there are still parameters that need to be met when it comes to cell phone usage. Anyone who processes thoughts logically is more than capable of understanding when and where the cell phone usage is appropriate. There is one that hits close to home for me as an avid movie-goer and pursuer of acting, and that is, of course, in a theatre. Considering the Palace Theatre being upgraded to the Premiere Palace, I feel as though this is a relevant subject to speak on.
First off, why? Why does anyone think it is more than acceptable to whip out a phone in the middle of a dark room full of people trying to focus on something else? Now, checking time is perfectly acceptable as it is not out for long and is hardly a distraction if kept by one's side. What is completely unacceptable is when someone receives a text and decides to sit on their lazy butt to show the world behind them what their dinner plans are. There are notices all over theatres and before the feature begins that practically spell it out for everyone that cellphone usage is not tolerated during the show. If the text is so important, then take it out into the hallway. Do not detract from the rest of the audience's enjoyment.
Secondly, it is utterly disrespectful in any theatre environment to use a cellphone during a show. In a movie theater, it is disrespectful to the patrons as well as the staff. Also, considering that we have crazy people in this world right now, take into account that people have been shot for using their cell phones in movie theaters and disturbing armed guests. When something serious like that happens, people should start to become a tad bit more aware of the people around them.
Thirdly... Oh boy. Do not get me started on live theatre. As a performer, I am constantly pouring blood, sweat, and tears into the craft to give the best performance I can give. For some hick who was dragged to the theatre for the first time ever by a family member to sit there on their cell phone the entire performance boils an actor's blood. We abide by the fourth wall rule and try not to allow the audience to distract, but cell phones still draw our attention greatly. We feel disrespected making ourselves vulnerable for a crowd, and for even one person to drop their investment into their "crotch light" can grind our gears.
Finally, why is it that people pay a lot of money to see a movie or a play only to sit on their phone the whole time? Save your money. Go home and do that for free. No one wants you out in public anyway.
The point is, when you pull out a phone in a theatre setting, you might as well be up on the stage or screen showing off the cellphone. Nobody wants to see it but you, and the statement the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few suddenly makes a lot more sense.
Also, if you are reading this on your phone during a theatre's feature, shame on you. Do not be surprised if you are mugged by people you are disrespecting right now.