There are a myriad of bad behaviors to be seen while out on the town. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the theater, the ballet, the symphony, an opera or a run-of-the-mill movie – there are certain things that polite, considerate human beings just do not do. You shouldn’t wear tall hats, yak on cell phones, argue with seatmates, hit or yell at your kids, or take up more than your share of the allotted seating. Patrons of public performance also shouldn’t scatter trash, eat or drink loudly, heckle performers or whisper running critiques of the experience.
All of these breaches of public good manners are nothing, though, compared to the hair-raising experience of sitting behind or next to a texter. Now, texting is certainly fine while on a bus or sitting at a hockey game, but there’s a reason there are always announcements against texting before any dimmed-light experience – texters, in effect, shine a flashlight into the faces of the people around them.
I’m proud (and maybe a little embarrassed) to say that I have become the vinegar-lipped scold to those unfortunate few who dare text near me. I don’t hesitate to tell texters to nip it, and now. I must have perfected my teacher-face because, so far, texters have always immediately dropped their hardware and given me a sheepish look. They know they’re not supposed to be peeking at their phones, they have just decided to risk it and hope nobody notices.
Well, here’s a note to texters: You’re noticed. Of course. When the lights are down and everyone is immersed in the hush and delight of the performance and you pull out your gadget and break everyone’s concentration . . . we notice. We do!
*What’s your public peeve and what, if anything, do you do about it?