I couldn’t see my son during the first part of his fifth-grade graduation even though I had a good seat because I’d taken the time to get there an hour early.
And during my daughter’s chorus concert, the same thing happened. I twisted and turned in my seat to get a good view of her for the first half of the show.
The person in front of me wasn’t wearing a big hat, wasn’t extra tall, and wasn’t standing on their chair. I was blocked from seeing my children perform because someone a few rows ahead of me felt it was okay to sit there with their arms up recording their child with their cell phone, and it was infuriating.
I guess I could have thrown my body a few rows forward and confiscated their phone. Or I could have made everyone in my row stand so I could get out (in the middle of a performance) and make everyone in the same row as the rude person (the one recording) stand so I could get to them and ask them to put down their phone so people behind them could see. But I didn’t do that because, rude.
Also, by the time those missions would have been completed, the performance would have been over, I would have missed it, and disturbed at least two dozen people in the process.
If you are at a concert, play, sporting event, graduation, awards ceremony, or spelling bee, and you want to record your child, I get it. It’s nice to have the memory to look back on or to embarrass them with in their older years.
But please move to an area where there aren’t people sitting behind you. People who came to this very event to watch their child without the obstruction of a cell phone. Parents, relatives, guardians, and friends who came to watch in real life–not through your tiny screen.
New flash: cellphones are not transparent. Neither are your arms. When they are in a position to record your child, they are blocking someone’s view. So, if you want to record your son’s solo, or your daughter scoring that goal or basket, move and go to an area where you aren’t ruining it for anyone else.
Taking a few pictures is fine. But people came here to see their child perform, not to look at your phone recording away.
They came to sit and watch their child in real life, and are hoping to get a wave or a glimpse of acknowledgement from them. That’s impossible when there’s an iPhone blocking their view.
It might be a smallish rectangle but when you are that far away, it’s a view-blocker. Be mindful and keep it out-of-the-way so other people can enjoy the game, the singing, the speech, or the performance.
Having one of your child’s events recorded is nice, but if you don’t have the space to get up and record without blocking someone’s view, skip it.
Nothing beats watching your child in their element in real life — we can’t get those moments back and people need to be careful not to rob someone else of that experience.
So please, put the darn phone down unless there aren’t human beings behind you.
I Don’t Want A Lot of Friends, I Want True Friends