The overuse of mobile phones has intruded on an important part of the world of music: the live concert. Audience members are becoming particularly annoyed with a new trend of taking selfies and film clips of performing artists, blocking their view of what they pay to see.
However, concerts are not the only place where mobile phones have made an intrusion. On unromantic dates, in the cinema or theatre, and at the family dinner table, the temptation of checking the phone seems inescapable. 18-year-old concert attendee Ruby Steyn said that this trend of taking selfies at concerts is a form of self-obsession, partly fuelled by social media.
“This isn’t because people want to preserve precious memories,” she said.
“It’s because they feel as if they have to prove that they are having a good time by sending photos and videos of the concert to their friends,” she continued.
Ms Steyn said that it is this kind of behaviour that has led Generation Y to be dubbed the ‘Look At Me’ generation, in addition to the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat. However, Adelaide-based concert promoter, Anthony Markey, said that this is not necessarily the case.
“Uploading snippets of concerts to social media helps to promote concerts and encourages people to support live music,” he said.
Mr Markey believes that banning selfies and filming on phones at concerts would be a threat to democracy as, “Everybody has the right to use their phone, for whatever purpose, at concerts.”
“It’s a harmless activity and to ban it would be a threat to our freedom and our democracy,” he said.
Conversely, it appears as if older generations have decided not to take much of a part in this controversial trend. During 69-year-old bluesman John Fogerty’s Adelaide concert in 2012, mobile phones “remained in pockets”, said 51-year-old concert attendee Helen Ivich.
“Mobiles were scarcely seen. The general audience were too busy enjoying his music to be fussing about with phones,” said Ms Ivich.
As a young fan of live performances, Ms Steyn suggested that the younger generation should follow the footsteps of their older one. “We can always learn something from older folk,” she said.
“Who cares about capturing the moment on your phone? You’ll remember it better if you capture it with your mind.”
Words by Jordan Leovi