Movie theaters and cellphones don’t mix

June 17 marked the release of Disney & Pixar’s much-anticipated movie, Finding Dory. I, along with millions of people, eagerly awaited the chance to watch it.

I bought my popcorn, found my seat and was swept away into the wonderful underwater world. The movie was magical, bright and colorful, but there was one color I was not anticipating nor excited about. That color was the bright white screen of my neighbor’s phone as she texted away throughout the movie.

The worst part was half the time, she wasn’t even texting. She had her phone on, her texting app open, but she was staring at the screen. Meanwhile, the bright light felt like it was right in my face.

Of course, I could have leaned over and asked her to turn her cell phone off, but I didn’t want to cause a scene and distract even more people. However, I shouldn’t have to say anything at all. We are in 2016. It should be engrained in everyone’s head now to not text during a movie.

In a recent article in Variety, AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron said to appeal to millennials, they were considering creating special text-friendly theaters.

“You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cell phone,” Aron said. “That’s not how they live their life.”

Just take what he said in for a moment. Are we really at a point where someone can’t turn their phone off for two hours, maybe three at most? Are we so consumed by our phones that we have to be on them 24/7 even at the expense of other people’s enjoyment?

I can assure you, Billy will still be there when the movie gets out. You can tell your friend what girl he should date after the movie. If there is an emergency, then step outside. If you’re expecting a crisis and you must have your phone on to hear an update, going to the movies is probably not a good idea.

There is absolutely no reason for texting in a movie theater. There was a time where texting didn’t even exist. People survived then; we can survive now.

Luckily, AMC dropped the idea after receiving backlash from the public. But the idea in and of itself is absolutely ludicrous. Why pay $10 to go see a movie, if you are just going to text and not pay attention?

Movies are an art form. They provide a way of escape. For two hours, someone can go to a movie and escape into the world in front of them. It’s pure magic. However, that magic is ruined the moment you turn your cell phone on and allow the outside world to enter. You not only ruin the magic for yourself, you ruin it for the people around you. It doesn’t matter if your brightness is turned all the way down; the moment the light comes on, it’s a distraction.

I think Aron says it best: “There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.”

Movies are my passion. I love going to the theater and leaving my worries behind. I not only silence my phone, I turn my phone completely off. I allow myself to be fully immersed into the world in front of me. I don’t want that immersion to be ruined by anything.

Next time you go to the movies, put your cell phone away. Don’t be a distraction, and let everyone enjoy the movie.

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