Earlier this week I wrote a post about a recent theater experience was marred by a crazy number of people taking their phones out during a live performance.https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2023/02/27/take-your-phones-out/

One of the comments that I got was that the theater should make an announcement before the show to remind people to silence their phones, because clearly, no one would dare turn on their phone after an announcement is made.

I laughed at my naivete. I didn’t realize that there were places where announcements were not made about silencing cell phones before a performance or movie.

I chuckled a little about those that thought that simply making an announcement would be enough to stop people from taking their phones out.

But let’s get back to the reality of the situation:

Even if rules are clearly posted, said over a loud speaker and reenforced by ushers going up and down rows, some people are not going to listen to the rules.

Some people are above the rules.

You know my stance on rules- without rules, and people following them, we have anarchy.

Are some rules stupid?

Of course.

Should we need to have cell phone rules at live performances? Probably not. It seems like it would be common sense to shut down your phone when at the theater or concert hall. But alas, common sense isn’t so common anymore.

I’ve written about rules a lot over the years, and you all know my song and dance by now. But until people realize that the sun does not revolve around them, there will just be more and more rules.

Buckle up (which had to be made into a law btw because people didn’t think that buckling up was important).

Rules? Yes or No?

56 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Announcements

  1. I’m a ‘yes’ for rules. For example, without the cell phone announcement, there’d be no justification for a ‘patron’ or attendant to even ask someone to turn off their phone. I do realize that it isn’t as effective as one might like!

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  2. If the entity that makes the rule is unwilling to enforce it then what is the point? No one had their phone taken away or was literally made to leave the venue if they would not surrender it I believe? Of course there’s a need/purpose to having rules but you also have to have enacted consequences without fail.

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      1. Chaos, violence, civil suits, irritation to everyone there who is following the rules, greater disrespect to the actors/musicians/etc… which is why in this specific example they don’t enforce the rules I suspect and so the cycle starts and rules mean nothing. The entity has the decision to focus on the rule breaker to the exclusion of everyone else or not and people know that. These are not black or white situations like say a traffic violation. Rules work when they work, and they don’t when they don’t. That makes me wonder just how imperative rules really are… in certain places.

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      2. It’s a breakdown of civil society. And what’s cool or not. Like, I would be the Karen in this situation…middle class white woman wanting “her” way…

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      3. So I will also toss out this- what we teach and what we model in the home are only one part of the equation. The social environment plays just as big- maybe bigger- a role in “teaching” kids what is and isn’t acceptable. Yes, the basics are there in the beginning but we know the influence of peers and social media. Do we regulate who our kids can hang with? Do we remove all opportunities to engage with the world? Do we simply toss out admonishments and hope for the best? Doing everything right at home isn’t a guarantee of how the culture we live in will impact kids and what choices they will make. It doesn’t take hoards of unruly and rude individuals. It starts with a few and grows exponentially given the society we have made. I would love to believe that your statement is all we need LA, but I think that it’s naive in many ways. I don’t like where we’re headed but at the same time I can’t envision going backward either. Historically those ideas didn’t achieve what everyone hoped and believed either.

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      4. But it starts at home…as everything does. I just saw this movie, The Quiet Girl. Kid has crappy parents…you can foresee what her life is going to be like. Clearly my idea is naive, just like thinking that people won’t speed, or drink and drive, or smoke in an airplane bathroom, or use a cell phone in a theater. But we have to start behaving better

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      5. Honestly, I saw it happen at a Kevin Hart concert. Yes there was a very loud objection and a sad apology/plea to Kevin but their asses got thrown out…no refund as stated on the ticket venue/the ticket itself/place that sold the ticket and an announcement from Kevin Hart himself.

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      6. I think if an usher actually caught someone they would get one chance and then be asked to leave. I’ve seen ushers come up to people and admittedly I’ve never seen someone take their phone out adterwards

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      1. I say yes to rules or guidelines. For instance, if you go to public pool in any development or community, There will usually be a list of rules. Anything For safety is usually a law.
        Back to your comment about theater etiquette… Every theater I’ve attended gives announcements before the show and usually again at intermission. So people are just being inconsiderate when they ignore the rules designed to enhance their theatrical experience.

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  3. As an often backsliding egoist I’m concerned your beef with scofflaws with cell phones who feel certain rules of when to utilize the wonders of Mobile Telephony rub against our current milieu and their individual rights is evidence of a decline of civilization resulting in nothing less then a cultural collapse. Whew!

    So were you been….

    I recently saw a television ad in which the audio had been carefully processed to sound unprocessed as if what one was watching and hearing was the presentation of some just folk influencer on TikTok.

    So you play footsie with that theater going miscreant, kicking her chair, expecting that she plays by the same rules you do, and lives in a world of public courtesy and commonsense.

    Now after your heel and toe to her seat correction, what would you have said to her response that her cell-phone was a full fat Apple Pro Max costing close to two grand, and here carrier cost were outlandish, and she has 15,000 social media followers, and having gone to your post she had viewed many a restaurant foodie photos, interesting museum pics, and numerous other public snaps…Well Snap….what do ya say to that?

    She too has to feed here many followers, and what’s better but to share an up and close and personal view of some gets from the “Great White Way.”

    Hey, I love your site. The content is fun, tasteful, and often engaging. I enjoy it.

    But Social Media has moved from sharing personal interest into a tool for building a a personal brand. And brand building, in the main, is not an honest share, but a business model. It’s the performative that matters. Interesting enough, Social Media has become theater.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate the fact that people actually open conversations with what’s your brand. But this was her trolling stuff…she wasn’t posting other than thumbs up or other social media stupidity…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I vote for rules.

    The problem in this theatre situation is similar to when wait staff had to implement no smoking regulations when they first came in. It’s left up to junior staff on the lowest pay level to implement it. Honestly, why should they put themselves in line to receive abuse from patrons?

    Self-entitlement is an increasingly common issue. Our upstairs neighbours told us – entirely seriously – that they had the right to do something in the common areas because they “paid their service charge” without any apparent awareness that every single resident also pays theirs. But their rights trump those of everyone else is what they were truly saying. And that’s what was going on in that theatre.

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  5. Rules within reason. I will admit that I have taken some pictures at concerts where there was not supposed to be any photos allowed. Definitely not in the darkened theater however. I have also been bothered by other folks sitting in front of me taking pictures. It is distracting. I’m trying to be more mindful of that fact. I want my photos for scrapbooking but that doesn’t give me the right to disturb others. Instead of taking 200 photos at a show, I’m down to maybe 50 or 100. We did go to one Peter Frampton concert where he said we could take pictures during the first 10 minutes of the show. That’s reasonable.

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  6. No matter how many rules you have, there will be people who think they apply to everyone else. As I think I commented on your original post, the theatre I often go to does make such an announcement. I think it acts as a deterrent but there are always some offenders.

    Another example is airline carry-on baggage requirements. I’m always very respectful of following the posted size and only taking what I’m allowed. Then I see people boarding with massive bags that wouldn’t fit in the sizer if their lives depend on it. You can get away with that on larger planes, but on the smaller regional jets that many airlines fly on shorter routes these days, there isn’t a chance that those bags will fit in the overhead bins. Yet, we have to wait while these people drag the luggage on board, waste time and hold up boarding while they try to fit it into the bin. Then, takeoff is further delayed while we wait for the ground crew to take the bag, ticket it and check it. GRRRR.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To answer your question…no.
    But, as you said without rules we have anarchy, kind of where we are headed now. I think the best case of an unenforceable rule is the one about texting/talking on the phone while driving. Most people ignore that one. Maybe we need a rule that would leave it to insurance companies. Stipulate it auto policies. You have an accident. If it can be shown that you were on the phone while driving, which is easy, you are not covered.
    Also, I think just looking at some of our major cities today, do we really enforce rules/laws? Just think, no laws, no crime!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m mainly a rule follower. I think rules are necessary. They don’t always make sense or aren’t needed. “Rules are made to be broken,” I’ve head a lot. If only people used common sense and were aware of those around them.

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  9. Rules will always be needed. With time these have to be reviewed, modified, altered and revised. Humans have an ingrained instinct to be primordial and unruly. They will break those rules time and again requiring still more rules to make them obedient and realize that they are part of a society where they have mutual rights and obligations. This process has always been and will go on till there is an inner call and the masses elevate to higher spiritual level and start thinking of others before themselves. Utopia? All rubbish? 😀😀

    On a practical note, rules imply rule breakers. Don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

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