Monday, August 25, 2008

Unnecessary Distractions

I’m not against text messaging and used to have it on my phone. Then it wasn’t cost effective to keep it on my phone anymore so I don’t have that service anymore. The other night we were at an outdoor drama and in front of us were two rows of a college soccer team. These girls were nicely dressed and seemed like very nice girls. Before the show began, the announcer asked that everyone turned off their cell phones. I know these girls thought that meant the ringer, not that actual phone. The show began at 8:30 and lasted until about 10:30 so it was pretty dark in the theater except for all the phone screens that keep popping up in front of me. It was extremely distracting as these girls text messaged through the entire show. I looked around the audience and I noticed other teens also had their phones out doing the same thing. I have to admit that the lights of the phones were extremely distracting for me and impacted how much I enjoyed the show. But I don’t think the girls even knew that what they were doing affected anyone else except them.

My husband and I began to discuss whether these students knew that what they were doing was inappropriate. Do we teach this in schools or at home? Has anyone ever said, “Don’t text message in a dark theater? Or in church? Or any other place where you should be paying attention to something instead of a private conversation on your phone? It’s a shame that people have to be asked not to talk during a movie or a show, but now they even address cell phone use. Before cell phones came out, you never heard the requests to turn off phones during a movie. Even when I go to presentations, the speaker may even start off by asking people to turn off their phones. Now in the day of text messaging, will this need to be added to the list?

I hear on the news about teens who are sending text messages while driving and causing accidents. Now there are ads in papers cautioning people from doing this. I guess people think that as long as they can’t cause any physical harm to anyone, it is okay to do this anywhere else. I think/hope that we will see this added to requests before movies and shows when the theater is dark.


mindelei said...

I understand exactly where you are coming from. As the digital age continues, it is necessary to educate others on appropriate conduct with technology within public environments. Personally, I think that etiquette needs to be addressed in the schools as it is apparent that students are not receiving this instruction at home (likely because families are not even aware of the issue). In my eyes, this can only help to create better citizens: digitally and otherwise. :)

M-Dawg said...

Those kids "just didn't get it" - they've never been taught appropriate behavior with their cell phone.

My pet peeve - in the movie theatre the kids text or even talk on their cells!

Another pet peeve - people taking photos of performances after the announcement has been stated to not take photos. This happened in St. Petersburg, Russia when I was seeing my very first ballet performance (2nd row seats!). In the beginning of the performance, an announcement was made in Russian, English, German, and French that no flash photography was allowed during the performance. So, what does this lady sitting directly behind me do? All I could imagine was one of those ballet dancers getting injured! Ugh. :-(

Anonymous said...

It's not just texting it's a general rudeness and lack of consideration for other's that I've noticed.

I was out last week with with my son and we noticed during a small presentation that the parents were acting worse than the children. Not only were they talking during the entire thing they also got phone calls. What an example!

I have to say my son acted like a gentleman and at the end of the presentation he thanked the speaker and the speaker shook his hand and told him how impressed he was with my son's participation during the lecture. I was a proud momma!

loonyhiker said...

mindelei: Part of the problem with not teaching digital citizenship at home is because many parents don't know any better either. Maybe some of the info we can share with our students can be brought into the home.

loonyhiker said...

m-dawg: I've seen that in shows I've been to also. I guess some people think the rules don't apply to them.

loonyhiker said...

gina: It sounds like your son has great role models and he is one of the lucky ones. Thanks for sharing.