I realize that I’m probably about to open a real can of worms here, but I thought this was an interesting enough topic to warrant some discussion. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to enjoy a movie at the theatre without being interrupted by someone receiving a phone call or texting in the middle of the movie. While you can blame some theatres for not actively enforcing the standard “no cell phone use” policy, the real problem seems to be that there is a generation growing up who are more attached to their mobile devices than ever before. The idea that you shouldn’t be allowed to have access to them somewhere simply doesn’t compute. The Hollywood Reporter conducted a study this month with 750 social network users ages 13 to 49 that only seemed to reinforce this fact.
In addition to acknowledging the value and influence of social networks in their lives, 83% of the survey participants said they surf the web while watching TV and 55% of moviegoers claim to have texted during a movie. Nearly half of the respondents also said they would be interested in going to a theatre that allows texting and web surfing — this despite the fact that 75% also said that using a mobile device during a movie makes it “distracting and less satisfying.” Go figure. I’m not entirely sure what these results mean, but I can certainly see a day where designated theatres or screenings may allow the use of cell phones during a movie. After all, if that is what the public demands, that is what they will probably get. What do you think? Is there a situation where allowing cell phone use during a movie could actually be beneficial? Would you like to have access to your cell phone during movies without feeling like a jerk? Or should the moviegoing experience always be sacred and completely distraction free? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.