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You know, I never see Facebook campaigns about basic civility.  I know, I know, I sound like a grouchy old man, but I hate seeing “repost this if you hate cancer”, because everybody hates cancer: you’re just extorting attention.

How about Facebook campaigns about basic manners?  Because, really, that’s something we could actually do something about.  So I’m going to do my part and remind people that texting in a movie theater makes you an awful person.  Not Hitler awful, but it’s essentially announcing to the entire world that you’re a self-involved jerk who doesn’t care about the people around you.

First, there is nothing in that text you need to read or reply to.  I know this, because if you were waiting for important news, or had something major awaiting you, you probably would not have shelled out ten bucks to sit in a dark room with strangers to watch Adam Sandler get kicked in the nuts or Kate Hudson discover romance.  If you were waiting for something important, or received some shocking news, you’d probably step out of the theater and check your phone, so you weren’t distracted by explosions and catchphrases.

Secondly, you are not that important.  Pulling out your cell phone in a movie is, on some level, an attempt to get attention.  Look at me!  I’m important!  People are talking to me!

No you’re not!  We all know you’re not!  You’re just being annoying in public because we, as a society, have accepted beating people for being rude causes more problems than it solves!  But it’s tempting!

Thirdly, don’t even waste your time trying to argue that nobody can see your screen.  Everybody can see your screen.  Phone screens are designed to be read in the dark, so they’re extremely bright, you probably have it turned all the way up, and you probably are using a white screen to text for contrast.  If you’re in a theater with stadium seating, it’s like somebody jabbing you in the eye.  There’s one theater in my area, the next time I’m forced to go, I’m sitting in the very back with a slingshot and picking off the screens as they light up one by one.

I’m not arguing we shouldn’t text at all.  Texting is useful.  In most situations, texting is OK.  Even texting at a funeral is OK, if you didn’t really know the person and are just crashing it for the food.  But texting in a movie is never OK.  Never.

Now repost this on Facebook, and let’s see if we can’t get the point through a few skulls.

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