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Column: selfies and cell-phone towering all too common at concerts

Omar L. Gallaga
ogallaga@statesman.com

In Tuesday’s Austin American-Statesman and on MyStatesman you’ll find this week’s Digital Savant column, focused on annoying mobile device behavior I’ve seen at concerts.

Did something change? Did I miss the memo? When did it become OK to block everyone’s view and experience live music through a 4.5-inch screen instead of with one’s own eyes?

I promise, the column isn’t just a litany of Old Man Gallaga complaints, but I’d love to hear what you think about the way cell phone etiquette has changed at music shows.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

At this Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias show, however, I saw even more egregious mobile device behavior, stuff that went from distracting to annoying and disruptive. It included:

The Long-Range Stage Selfie: I witnessed so many fans with seats high up in the stands mosey down the aisle to take a group selfie with their friends, positioning the camera so that the very distant stage was in the background. Of course, with flash enabled in the dark, this means the subjects of the photo will be washed out while the stage will appear as a distant blur. No matter! These aisle-blockers, who got in the way of people trying to watch the show with their own eyes, were incessant.

The Cellphone Tower: This happens at almost any concert now. An amateur videographer holds their phone up above the crowd, two-handed, to record video of an entire song. And maybe it’s just a demographic reality in San Antonio, but it seemed like every phone I saw was one of those giant Galaxy Note devices or the new iPhone 6 Plus. Yet my concert ticket said nothing about my seat having an obstructed view.

You can read the full column here.

I also asked some friends online what kinds of behavior they’ve seen at shows. Here are a few of their Tweets: