Is it time to let moviegoers use cell phones?
Many young Americans prefer to Facebook and text while watching movies, suggesting that multiplexes might be wise to rethink their all-out bans
People who use their cell phones to text, tweet, or play games during movies are really annoying and distracting. So say 75 percent of the social networkers surveyed in a study commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter. But the poll also found that the majority of respondents age 18 to 34 believe that using social media on their phones during a movie screening makes the experience better. Many in this group say they'd be psyched to attend a theater that allowed cell phone use. With attendance down, should theaters cater to this younger demographic and change their cell-phone policies?
No way: It's official, says Jason Serafino at Complex: Facebook and Twitter have gone too far. Obviously, social media is a powerful, wonderful tool, "but if it interferes with our movie-going experience, then we have a problem." Allowing cell phones at the movies would turn theaters into "lawless wastelands" where Words With Friends is the main attraction and the film itself is "an unwanted distraction." I "shudder at the thought.""Study finds that young moviegoers want texting to be allowed in theaters"
It might be a wise move: The times, they are a-changing, says Kevin Jagernauth at Indie Wire. Kids will set the agenda for the multiplex business in the coming years. And if "they want theaters they can sit in and text and tweet," only a fool would deny them. "Cinema buffs will always have their arthouse altars...." But the truth is, "social networking is part of the tapestry of how we communicate today, and that does need to be recognized.""Discuss: Is allowing cell phone use at the movies the way of the future?"
Let's compromise: To youngsters eager to text in the middle of movies, I say, "Get off my lawn!" says Jill Pantozzi at The Mary Sue. I can't be the only "old fart who doesn't understand the technology." And despite what twenty-somethings are demanding, you can bet most folks still think cell phone use in theaters is distracting. So why not have separate texting and non-texting showings for most movies?"Young moviegoers are totally OK with texting in theaters"