Show Some Respect

It blows my mind how rude and oblivious some people are.

I went to my daughter’s middle school concert last night, and much to my dismay the woman in front of me (a mother, I presume) was texting on her phone for the better part of an hour and a half show.

What could possibly be so important?

Unless this woman is Jack Bauer about to save the world on 24, a death row lawyer with a client waiting for a reprieve or the head of organ transplants at a local hospital…I honestly can’t imagine what can’t wait.

Because here’s the thing – no matter how discreet you try to be it’s annoying and distracting to people around you.

I could see the blue glow from her phone. And I bet some of the kids on stage, who’ve been working so hard preparing the show, could too.

Let’s show some respect for other people’s ideas, hard work, and creativity.

It’s not just middle school performances where this is happening. It’s also in Broadway audiences, and frankly, it’s making me think twice lately about going to a show.

The message at the beginning of a stage performance (or movie) to put your cell phones on vibrate is a great start. There’s nothing worse than an unwanted ring interrupting a beautiful performance.

But let’s not stop there. Let’s ban all absolutely non-emergency checking of phones and Blackberry’s. I understand the addiction, my thumbs are as itchy and twitchy as the next person’s.

But out of respect for the artists, be they 12 years old or 120, let’s resist the urge.

Put the device down and put those fingers to better use clapping ecstatically to reward the efforts of the people with enough passion, drive, and courage to be up on the stage (or screen).

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Is unchecked texting ruining your ability to enjoy a good performance?

3 thoughts on “Show Some Respect

  1. I’m on board. It’s bad enough at the movies where people can’t seem to keep themselves from checking messages/time/sports scores, but I was recently at a student show at the university where I work and there was a woman two seats down (with no one between us) who wouldn’t put her PDA/phone/whatever away. I gave her the benefit of the doubt for the first few minutes, then started giving her the death glare repeatedly. The light from the screen was extremely distracting. Besides, most of the audience was made up of parents and friends of the performers, and I was pretty sure this woman was the mom of someone in the show. This struck me as one of the rudest and most disrespectful things I had ever seen. I finally leaned over and quietly just said, “Please, the light is distracting” with a meaningful head tilt toward her gadget. She gave me the most put-upon look, but put the thing away … for about 10 minutes, when out it came again and I finally got up and moved. I wonder what she said when her son or daughter asked how she enjoyed the show.

  2. Thanks for sharing. And good for you for saying something (even if it only gave you a 10 minute reprieve).

  3. The combo cell phone PDA devices make it very difficult – on a weekend when I am out and about with the kids or at an event for the kids, I have no desire to have a PDA with me, but I bring it because it is also my cell phone. And let’s face it 🙂 when someone else’s kid is up there or there is some boring break in the action, the urge to check is too much.

    I know. It is just awful.

    But after reading this post maybe I won’t do it anymore.

    I will say I am not sure kids are all that bothered by it, they have grown up with it, but then again, that is not a great thing either.

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