US Cinema chain AMC to consider allowing Texting during films

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by MacLeod, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Markas

    Markas Captain Captain

    Nov 3, 2008
    Firmly ensconsed in my red bucket
    First, I'll say that I do not like seeing texters in the theater.

    I think there is something to explore here, though. When I was a child, my parents (and really, everyone else in the theater) reinforced the "be quiet, watch the film, open your plastic-wrapped candy first" policy. If you even whispered to your neighbor, there would be someone in front or behind you that would say "shhh." It was the norm for attending all sorts of theater, from plays to symphony to ballet.

    But we seem to have entered a different societal norm around devices. I was out with friends the other night at a favorite lounge after work. There was a group of 4 who were probably all less than 25. I glanced at their table and all of them were texting someone else. I was fascinated and watched them for a bit. For at least 5 minutes, they were all focused on their phones while taking sips from their drinks, occasionally smiling at the response they got on from their text buddy, but not saying a word to any of the other 3 people SITTING NEXT TO THEM!

    If I had done that at the table with my friends, they would have had something pointed to say about being with the people who were there. But clearly, this is not the mindset of the younger people who were handed devices in elementary school.
  2. Amaris

    Amaris Guest

    Part of it I understand immediately: we've reached a point where global communication is as easy as whispering to your best friend sitting next to you with the difference being that you may be in Cincinnati, Ohio, and your friend is in Tokyo, Japan. We've become more of a global mind, bonding with one another across the planet without stepping food outside our own homes, and those bonds are growing stronger all of the time.

    Now, that said, I'll be spitballing the rest: I think it's easier to talk with someone over a moderated connection with an intermediary between the two (computer, phone, etc), than it is to speak with others face to face. I know that I find myself preferring to text or email someone rather than talk to them over the phone. See, with text, you can't hear how tired I am, whether or not I'm bored, or if I'm worried about something unrelated to the conversation. Text can conceal these things from all but the most perceptive listeners. So we become more comfortable having something between us and the other person, even though we might like that person. It's like having a security blanket when we face the world. That's what our phones have become.

    So in your example above, that group of friends liked being in each other's company, but they also liked having that security blanket to buffer any feelings of social inadequacy (which I believe we all feel on some level, but again I'm spitballing this). I have generally found that people just like to have company. I mean, families used to get together just to watch TV in someone's house. People sit together and read newspapers, or books. It's about companionship, and when they feel safe in their environment, they are happy and at ease, even if you're not the one they're directly communicating with.

    That said, there is a time and place for such things, and it behooves people not to forget their good friends around them, or the environment they're in when deciding whether or not to text.
  3. Markas

    Markas Captain Captain

    Nov 3, 2008
    Firmly ensconsed in my red bucket
    I suppose in some way it is just the natural progression of social norms throughout the decades. When I was a child, my father was adamant about "take your hat off when you enter a building." It was the norm of his youth, so seeing the guys in baseball hats having dinner at the table next to him in a restaurant had him vibrating with unhappiness.

    I guess many of us have difficulty moving past the given societal expectations of behavior when they change to something that is opposite of our group-understanding of what is/should be permissible. It happens every generation.
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Confederation of Earth
    Until it ends with the phrase "Resistance is futile." :borg:
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain

    But a buisness is free to say.

    No trainers
    All Mobiles must be switched off.
    Suit and tie required.

    If you are unhappy with those restrictions you as a consumer are free to take your buisness elsewhere.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  6. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 3, 2013
    Sickbay, dammit.
    It's just common courtesy, respect for others, to not impose yourself on them while the movie is playing. But common courtesy is in short supply these days, and not only with "millennials." People of all ages are so involved with their own stuff that they don't see others around them.

    I see it so often that it makes me hyper-aware of my own behavior. In public. Online is a different story. :lol:
    Rowdy Roddy McDowall likes this.
  7. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Tom Hendricks
    I don't mind texting during a movie, I just hate talkers. Most of the time, the phone is silent and they are just typing. I know when I go out to movies with my wife, that means we have a babysitter. So I usually turn the brightness down on my screen, just in case the babysitter needs to text. It has happen twice in all the times we've gone to the movies. However now with my Apple Watch I don't even have to worry, I can text to my hearts content because the Apple Watch puts out very little light, not that I do. Texting and doing things is just the norm now, like not getting dressed up to go to a Broadway play. I've seen people in sweat pants and jeggings, with tee shirts. I think AMC is looking at loosing the kids as customers if they don't allow texting and yes, kids are the ones who are going the most to see movies in movie theaters. Hell they have been kicked out of the malls, what else are they going to do.
    Rowdy Roddy McDowall likes this.
  8. HIjol

    HIjol Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 13, 2014
    Midwest, USA
    It is my sincere hope that the Good People at AMC suggest to the person/people/Agency that came up with the idea of allowing texting during movies, and the entity within AMC that actually released this insa...-er-intriguing idea to the Media that, perhaps, they would be a better fit in a different company, where innovative ideas like allowing behaviors that would drive customers away, Warp 9, would be more welcome.

    Theater cleaning staff had to be happy, though! :techman:
  9. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Behind Enemy Lines
    If only there were some kind of code of conduct for cinema goers...

    I'm glad this notion has (for the moment) died a death, although obviously unless ushers are on hand people still do it, same as they still natter away and eat very noisily! I just don't understand why people can't just sit quietly for a couple of hours and watch the damn film? I'm not a complete Nazi, there's nothing wrong with an occasional and brief whispered comment/question to your cinema companions ("Hey wasn't she in Breaking Bad?") and if people have left kids with babysitters then the occasional check to see if they have a text is fine (I've seen people clearly even doing so under their coats to minimise light pollution which is considerate) but texting/tweeting/facebooking and full on conversing etc. is just not on. Me I'm one of those rare folks who turns his phone off before the trailers start.

    I believe Japan has cinemas where you can tweet along to the film and the tweets actually come up on screen. If such a thing ever becomes the norm in the UK then I guess I just won't be going to the cinema much anymore.
  10. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 8, 2008