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Smartphones … dumb people

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2011 in Thinking Without A Trace

There’s a reason we all sit in the dark in a cinema – it’s about being immersed in the movie, seeing the picture at its best and not being distracted while enjoying a uniquely shared experience.

So how selfish and stupid do you have to be to not care that the light from your so-called smartphone is bugging everybody within six seats of you?

You can use these things as flashlights, for Pete’s sake.  The glow on your moronic face is bad enough but that light is also shining in everyone else’s eyes.

And if you really need to know what the twit who’s tweeting you has to say, like, right now, should you really be in the cinema at all?

Gant multiplexes are their own brand of horror chambers but you used to be able to go into “art house” cinemas safe in the knowledge that  all mobiles would be switched off.

But now the darkness of the trendiest cinemas is pierced by the brilliant displays of iPhones (mostly) and other devices that simply have to be checked every three minutes for e-chats like …

“@ movz.”


“Noisy. Ev’s hissing.  Morons!”

We went to a late show of the Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest at the Verona in Paddington last weekend.  A woman in front of us ignored her date – how rude it that? –  and Tweeted for 10 minutes from the moment she sat down until the opening titles rolled.

OK, she put her phone away but you could see it coming.  After less than five minutes she shuffled, she squirmed, she twitched and finally her app-addiction got the better of her and out came the phone again.

Suddenly a bright blue light was illuminating her and everyone around her.

My companion politely asked her to switch it off.

“It’s on silent,” she replied

“Switch it OFF,” I said.

“I have to check on my children,” she said, emphasizing the word “children”  as if I was a child molestor.

“Then do it outside,” I said, quite reasonably.

“Don’t tell me what to do,” she shrieked, clearly hoping that everyone around us would rise up in support of a Mother’s Right To Text.

They didn’t. She slumped in her seat.  Her children managed to survive for the next 90 minutes before a message arrived that just had to be shown to her male companion (who by this time was almost sliding under the row in front in embarrassment).

Darwinism takes too long.  Not enough texting pedestrians are being cleaned up by tweeting drivers.

Meanwhile it seems we have a new fact of film-going life: the smarter and brighter the phone, the dumber and dimmer the owner.

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