It’s 2017 and your mobile phone is pretty much an extension of your arm, if not, your soul. Calls, texts, alarms and alerts all keep you simultaneously moving through the real world and caught up in everyone else’s.
Although there are endless arguments for the benefit of accessible information and as a means of communication and connectedness, phones can make people hugely anti-social and distract users from present company and experiences. It is because of the constant and often subconscious need to be connected that constantly checking your phone has become increasingly frowned upon.
An increasing number of artists such as Alicia Keys, Dave Chappelle, Louis CK and Guns N Roses have spoken out against the use of phones at live events. The extreme of this ranges from Adele asking a fan to stop recording her during a performance, to Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, saying that looking at a screen may cause you to miss the look on the face of your child, or your date, and the everlasting memories that are created from games.
A sea of screens and devices is the norm at live performances but texting, tweeting, filming and photographing distracts the user, performers and other audience members, diminishing the purpose of attending live events. Even just disengaging for a moment to check your phone takes away from both your and other people’s experience of the actual performance.
The use of electronic devices to film and distribute not only the performance but videos of other audience members detract from the social experience. If people are conscious of being caught on camera, they will be more hesitant to let loose and enjoy themselves at live events. In other words, if you are being photographed and filmed, you will pay less attention to the experience you are having and more to the way you appear to be having it.
What good is a photo or video of a performance when you were actually at the performance but distracted by trying to take said photo or video? Yes, it’s great to share your experiences with friends and yes, I’m sure they’d love to see what you saw, but if they weren’t there to enjoy it, maybe you should just enjoy it on their behalf and immerse yourself in the experience.
A great photo for Instagram is only great for a day and then it will drown away in everyone’s feed whereas genuine enjoyment of the moment will last so much longer!