Live in the moment; get off the cellphone

Published 10:51 am Thursday, December 12, 2013

Column: A Happy Medium, by Erin Murtaugh

There was a choir concert on Tuesday night. I’m annoyed by what happened at the concert.

The music was good and everything went pretty well with the performance. In fact, you wouldn’t know why I was annoyed if you weren’t on stage singing.

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Looking out into the crowd, you would see illuminated faces sprinkled throughout the crowd. That’s right, people on their cellphones during the performance is exactly what annoyed me. Whoever you were, I hope you’re reading this.

I never understood why directors of plays, concerts and other performances would ask the audience to put their cellphones on silent and keep them put away for the duration of the performance. I thought it was just common sense to keep them out of sight.

Unless someone was using their phone as a camera or video chatting the concert to someone who couldn’t be there, I really don’t understand why a cellphone would have needed to be out.

School concerts aren’t free to attend, so I’m pretty sure someone didn’t pay to have a seat to be on their phone. If you were at the concert, I’m certain you were there to watch someone or enjoy the music.

Be there in the moment for that reason. The cellphone can wait.

OK, so not only does it annoy me, but I’m sure it annoys others, too. It is rude to the people around a person on their cellphone. The lights are turned off at a concert for a reason, so please don’t make more light with your annoying little device.

If the person next to a concert cellphone user is annoyed, then I’m sure the people on stage are, too. Hello, we can see you. It’s a little distracting to see little twinkles of light from around the audience.

Next time you’re at a concert, play, musical or whatever you watch for live entertainment, put Mr. Cellphone away. Whatever is drawing you to using it can wait until intermission or until the show is over.


Albert Lea High School senior Erin Murtaugh’s column appears every Thursday.