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let go of the phone

Let go of the mobile phone…

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Didn’t you just love the sexy soft voice of Benedict last week sharing why he would not like to see any red lights in the audience of people taping his Benedict Hamletperformance (pasted below); Politely but effectively begging his fans to ripple his message out via social media to encourage audiences to appreciate why they are at the theatre and why he is there for them. Letting his audience know that the reason is not to take videos of his performance. 

A friend of mine went to the cinema recently to watch a movie and had to gently ask her neighbouring seat to stop looking at their mobile as the light was distracting. They replied rather curtly. 

I recently went with a friend to the theatre and had to nudge them when they took their phone out before interval to look at a message.

It’s so infuriating isn’t it. Why spend £14 for a movie ticket if someone beside you is going to talk all the way through it, answer their phone, or check their Facebook page. Why spend £60 if you have Mr Seated In Row Four trying to record five minutes of the famous lead actor’s performance for ‘safe keeping’.

Take stock (and I don’t mean the Photo Stock library type)

This is absolutely the reason why we should take stock of the moment that we are in…the here and the now. If everything is a fuzz of a picture taken and a moment captured in time, where is the romance of enjoying a giggle about something wonderful that happened in the past that we don’t have the photographic reference for. I beg you to ask any actor if they would ever stop halfway through their own live performance to quickly take a selfie so they remember that moment they in which they were right in the middle of filming or performing. Please!

How many times have you taped a song while you were at a concert, perhaps your favourite of all songs by that band, only to find it on your mobile phone months later taking up space. If you bothered to press play well done you. But for me, I would find I would delete it without even watching or listening to it again. Moment wasted, and most of all, amazing song that was playing at the time was even more wasted on me.

Don’t make my mistake 

actor selfieI realised late in life (just a few years ago in fact when I became obsessed with Instagram) that not every moment needs to be captured with a still photo or a video. Sure, the accessibility on your mobile phone is blissful, but it’s not the be all and end all to the experience of human life.

Memories are so powerful. Memories make us feel good. Memories are our own warm fuzzy version of things that have passed. They can’t be replicated by a photograph (much as it is lovely to look at Instagram and see our selfies and friends adorning the pages).

A touch, a hug, a smile. These are all better than a selfie (or worse, a selfie stick selfie – gosh shoot me now!). Can you remember your first slow dance with a boy? I can! I can remember our eyes locking, us giggling, the song feeling like it went on forever, and his 14 year old hands gently resting around my waist. I didn’t need a photo to keep that moment etched in my memory forever (K*, wherever you are, that was bliss!).,

As a kid and even as a teenager I used to collect small shells and random stones or pebbles I found on the beach. I loved the shape of them. And I had a particular fondness for shells that I could lift up to my ears and hear the waves of the ocean.

As I grew up, I continued this tradition of collecting them but only on special occasions. A romantic walk on the beach with someone I loved. Sharing a camping and rock climbing trip with my siblings. The death of a loved one where I was touched by the final goodbye service. Moments in my life that left me ‘affected’ and ‘moved’.

Where our pebbles go later

Where are those pebbles and shells now? They live in two little jam jars with candles on top. Every time I light a candle or look at my little mason jars I know that those stones represent moments in my life that were wonderful or moving or uplifting. I don’t recall which individual shell was collected where, but boy do I know that they’re a lifetime of bliss and learning and shaping me into the woman I am now.

Wouldn’t keeping a little pebble be more significant that ruining everyone else’s experience in that cinema or theatre? Wouldn’t it be wonderful just to go to sleep that night with only the memory of their powerful performance etched in your mind.

I still remember Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein as clearly as I remember my graduation. Now that is what a performance is about! Well done Benedict on your speech and your empowering message.

And to the dipstick who answered a call during the movies the other week – I hope your phone screen cracks next time!


*I’ve omitted his name for fear that someone will find the poor gent and remind him about our first dance. Maybe he actually doesn’t want to remember. So lets not find him and tell him hey. 🙂

Photo credit: gato-gato-gato / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-33973058

Hamlet poster image: http://hamlet-barbican.com/

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