Screen Bloody Murder: My Latest Annoyance
So I'm at a high school band concert last night, seated comfortably in the darkened auditorium, when out of the corner of my eye I see someone playing solitaire. On her laptop. While the concert is going on.
The human brain has evolved to the point where it is impossible not to look at a lighted screen in a dim room. Call it the Sports Bar Complex. No matter how scintillating your experience may be--how attractive your date, how compelling the band onstage--if there is a screen you will look at it. I will look at it anyway, try as I might not to.
I moved seats.
And there two rows ahead was a girl fingering her iPhone. It was smaller than the laptop but it glowed just as brightly and was just as distracting. It was distracting visually (see Sports Bar Complex above) but it was also distracting philosophically. It was so obvious that both girls would rather have been somewhere else. The only way they could endure the hell of the band concert was to gaze into the screen.
I've seen the same thing happen at movies: People text on their cell phones, oblivious to what's happening on the even bigger screen in front of them.
What can we do about this? Am I wrong to be so irritated? What do you think?
Talk to Me
Join me at noon for my online chat, conducted today from the Big Apple. I'm up in New York and if the internet works up here I should be able to chat with you. I will resist the urge to do it during a mid-day moving screening. Post a question now or stop by at noon.
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