Kyle Smith, writing in the New York Post, claims that smartphones have destroyed the movie-going experience.
Even five years ago, a trip to the movies (or theater) was just about the last thing we did that involved absolute concentration on just one thing, total surrender. Then came the iPhone.
For a couple of years it has been my habit, when someone sitting next to me pollutes my peripheral vision with one of these pernicious little boxes, to call out, not quietly, “Will you SHUT THAT OFF PLEASE?” My purpose is to emphasize the rudeness of the habit by being even more obnoxious. Usually this tactic incites nasty stares, and I suppose one day it’ll earn me a beating. But something must be done.
Just in the past year or so, the iDistracted disease has spread to private, invitation-only screenings attended exclusively by fellow journos, entertainment-industry types and other invitees who really ought to know better. When there’s a quiet stretch of one second or more, someone is likely to disrupt the moment by sparking up some iCrack.
There's more at the link.
From my admittedly curmudgeonly perspective, I'd suggest to Mr. Smith that the problem lies, not with smartphones or technology, but with the movie theaters themselves. Years - decades! - ago, I decided I'd be damned if I was going to pay hard-earned money for the altogether dubious 'privilege' of being bombarded by over-loud advertisements and endless trailers for forthcoming movies in which I had no interest whatsoever - not to mention offered only drinks and snacks so overpriced as to defy economic logic. If I want to be bored, robbed and deafened simultaneously, there are many places that will arrange that free of charge. Why should I pay for the privilege?
Only if and when movie theater owners and operators actually do something to make me feel welcome at their venues, and stop alienating me in so many ways, will I bother to become a regular theater-goer once more. Until then, I'll buy or rent a DVD.