Controversy of texting in movie theaters

“Would you like to be seated in texting or non-texting?”

Imagine being asked this in a movie theater of all places. This could very well be the future for movie-goers.

A recent survey done by the market research firm Penn Schoen Berland for the entertainment magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, showed exactly how popular texting in movie theaters could actually be.
Over 750 social network users between the ages of 13 to 49 were asked various questions about social media and entertainment. The majority of them answered that being able to access social media while watching movies adds to their experience. More than half claimed that they would be more inclined to go to the theaters if texting and web surfing were allowed.

With the social media trend continuing to grow, and multitasking using phones is expanding in popularity, it doesn’t seem entirely unlikely for this to be the future. People can be seen texting while driving, checking Facebook while walking through the halls, Tweeting while eating. So what is so weird about going on a phone while watching a movie?

The potential future of movie theaters. Photo courtesy The Collider

“That is just completely stupid. I wouldn’t pay $13 to spend half the movie texting, or to be distracted by people texting,” said student Michelle Evans. “And I can’t see them doing segregated theaters.”

But as with smoking in the early 1900’s, many populated areas such as theaters and restaurants did segregate the smokers and non-smokers before they banned smoking due to health risks. Could being given their own section to Tweet, text, and surf the web really appease people?

Many believe that this isn’t going to happen. Jonathan Lewis, an usher at a local theater gets complaints all the time from people who get annoyed at others texting during the movie.

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“I know for a fact that people who go to the movies to sit down, turn off their phones, and enjoy the movie would probably not want to go to the movies anymore if half the theater had little screens flashing and blinking away,” said Lewis. “In a way the movie theaters would lose a lot more customers than they would gain if texting were allowed. So the likelihood of something like this happening is slim to none because industries follow the money.”

Right now the majority of movie-goers like to sit down and enjoy the movie, but with each generation the need for technology at all times is becoming more and more prominent. People have gotten to the point that they cannot even go to bed without their cell phone next to them. So ten, even twenty years down the road, will the general population be able to sit down for a full hour, two hours, even three hours, without their technology being checked and updated every five minutes?

“Movies are getting longer forcing viewers to have to wait longer to check on their friends or make sure they didn’t miss any calls,” said Lisa Pollet, while clutching her IPhone. “Breaks, like in plays, would be too disruptive, so why not allow people to occasionally check their phones. I’m not saying that everyone should have their phone on the entire time, but just a minute or two to check without the chance of being thrown out would be really nice.”

Currently the masses of technology enthusiasts do not outnumber those who are able to occasionally put down their phones and enjoy something else for a bit. But with the future of technology continuing to grow, the future is not to clear on what direction this issue, along with many others concerning technology, may take.