It happens so often these days – you’re in the theater (either movie or live), and you start to hear the telltale click of little buttons. Or, your eye is caught by a blue square in an otherwise dark theater (or, in one extremely unfortunate event, half the theater ceiling is lit blue by someone who thought their seat in a box meant nobody in the rest of the theater could see them). Or, you here the strangled little buzz of a phone on vibrate, which, note to humanity, STILL MAKES NOISE. And I’m not even going to go into the times when a phone actually rings and someone picks it up.
I’d say it’s a pet peeve, except for it’s shared by so many people that it can hardly be considered my pet; and yet, there seems to be an equal faction who are totally unfamiliar with the concept that a shared space and experience means you cannot act like you would in your own home. I have issues these days with many elements of our hyper-connected current reality; I resent that we live in a world where if someone can’t reach you 24/7, this is your fault, and I worry that we are becoming unused to focusing on face to face, meaningful interaction, although every time I complain about this I feel like that old-timey guy in old cartoons who shakes his fist and wonders why everyone needs any of these newfangled contraptions when he grew up with only sticks and a candle and that was just fine for him.
But I really do hate this. And I wonder why people don’t realize how it makes them seem when they pay for a movie or a theater ticket, then ignore the very thing they paid for in order to text, something they could have done outside in the light for free – do people want to seem like they have such short attention spans? Or that they just like paying for things they don’t actually use or experience?
Anyhoo, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas has made a fairly brilliant anti-texting ad for their theater out of the angry voicemail left by a customer who was kicked out after texting. It is pretty hilarious, and makes you proud that such places still exist in the Magnited States of America.
And really, people, it’s two hours out of your life – Stop. Texting.