A Modest Proposal: A Radical Solution to Movie Texting?
Reader Donna Hosek has an idea for how to deal with movie texters. Now, I can't tell whether Donna's being serious or whether she's being facetious but I like her creativity. Here's what she has to say:
I don't go to movie theaters and I don't text, but I think this could be a possible invention to solve the texting-during-movies problem. There are some kinks that still need to be worked out.
Since texters are looking at their texting screen and not the movie, theater personnel could surround each texter with a "portable, personal texting booth" (PPTB). They would still be able to hear the movie. This PPTB would be a box just wide and long enough to fit around an occupied movie theater seat, and about 3 ½ to 4 feet tall with no top. Of course the problem with this is it would block the view of people sitting behind the texter, but we can work that out later.
The theater could store these boxes hanging from the ceiling. Through a series of ropes and pulleys a box could be gently dropped onto anyone seen texting. This dropping of boxes would be distracting to other moviegoers but they would get used to it and eventually ignore it, or the texting would stop out of fear of having a box dropped on you.
This idea may not be feasible but just the sight of human-sized boxes hanging from the ceiling of the theater may keep people from texting during a movie.
I hope this idea helps your cause. I do have other ideas but they seem kind of silly.
Silly ideas? Nonsense.
Donna's box idea gave me an idea of my own: Take a box that's about the size of the one Donna mentioned, roughly 3 ½ by 4 feet, more horizontal than vertical. Install a mechanism that is able to reproduce the sounds and images from a motion picture, delivered via some sort of cable, energy pulse or convenient storage medium. Make the box inexpensive enough that every household in America could afford one.
People unable to resist texting could watch a movie on this box, in the privacy of their own home, secure in the knowledge they wouldn't be annoying anyone else. I call this device the "texting box," or TB.
I think it might just take off. Now, if we could just get the movie texters to stay home in front of the TB instead of going to the multiplex and ruining the show for the rest of us.
July 8, 2009; 9:22 AM ET
Categories: Radical Civility
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