Put your Phone Away!

I love live music.  My first concert was MUSE when I was 20 years old.  Yeah, you heard me correctly–20.  In High School,  I wasn’t allowed to go to concerts.  My mother was worried that I would be killed while attending a KoRn concert, and really I can’t blame her.  The music I listened to wasn’t Britney Spears, and allowing your 15-year-old to enter a mosh pit wasn’t the best parenting choice.  So I understood.  When I was 20, I was obsessed (and still am) with MUSE.  I remember frantically sending my then boyfriend an e-mail BEGGING him to take me to their show at The Electric Factory.  He did, and since then I’ve loved concerts more than any social activity I could possibly take part in.

Now, I take every opportunity to see live music.  If you have a show coming up and I’ve played your album on repeat for the last month-chances are, I’m there.  I love everything about it.  I love the people singing along to their favorite lyrics.  I love watching the pit go crazy, and I love watching the musicians fulfill their rock star dreams by melting the faces of all the little teenagers bowing down to worship them.  I’m at my happiest while at a concert– but I have a bone to pick with my fellow attendees.

I saw Justice for the first time a few days ago, and it was an amazing show.  I had never been to an Elecrtronica show, so I didn’t know what to expect.  The pit was surprisingly active, and the older folks up at the bar either stood around and danced around to the genius that is Justice.  There were, however, a few people recording the entire show on their iPhones.  What? Really?  Why?

The rise of Smartphones has led to an annoying trend.  People feel the need to record and document all the events they are attending.  Take the Justice concert for example, directly in front of me was a couple that sat with their iPhones out recording the entire thing.  Why?  The audio is going to be terrible, and you’re just sitting there positioning your phone in away that gives you the PERFECT shot.  Are you going to watch it later?  Will you sell the footage on the street as a bootleg DVD?  You’re too busy documenting your experience to actually enjoy the concert! I don’t understand the obsession with standing there, cellphone in hand, recording every moment as it happens on stage.

Remember when we relied on this thing called memory?  No, I’m not talking about the SIM card in your iPhone.  I’m talking about that thing your brain does when you try to recall what life was like before the internet.  Imagine what it would be like to remember your favorite lead guitarist wailing out the solo to your favorite song.   You have a story to tell your friends, your kids, –hell even your grandkids.  What would you rather do? Tell someone an awesome story, or pull out your iPhone and go “Here, just watch this.”  Who wants to stand there and watch your shaky hand-held recording of Jack White? Is that even Jack White? He’s about the size of a sunflower seed, and the light is reflecting so vibrantly off of his sexy porcelain skin–I can’t even tell if that’s him!

I understand that cellphones at concerts aren’t going away any time soon.  I’m totally fine with that.  I’ll admit, I take photos during a show.  I like to have a little something to remember the night.  I’ve grown past the “calling my friend during their favorite song” phase. (I know I was terrible)  I’ll even admit that I’ve recorded small snip its of my favorite songs from my favorite artists–but all of those are for me.  One or two snaps of my phone, and I spend the rest of the time enjoying the show.  I’m not going to record the entire thing then go home to watch it while laying in my bed.

If there is any time when we should disconnect from our technology it should be while attending a live event.  I’m not just talking about concerts.  Put your phone away at stage productions, comedy shows, and movie theaters. Don’t even get me STARTED about people who text during movies.

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