Dave Chappelle Thinks A Sock And A Dream Will Keep People From Using Phones At Shows
from the mandatory-civility dept
During a recent 13-night run at Thalia Hall in Chicago Dave Chappelle tried something different. He partnered with a company by the name of Yondr in an attempt to keep attendees from not only taking photos or videos, but from so much as sending an emoji during the program. Yondr’s solution to public performance cell phone etiquette is basically a smart cell phone sock. Or perhaps a cell phone cozy if you’re a grandma (hi grandma). Effectively it’s a pouch that attendees of an event are forced to put their devices in if they want to enter the performance:
“Attendees at any of Chappelle’s 13 sold-out Thalia Hall performances will be greeted by staffers handing out gray smartphone sleeves, available in three sizes. They are then instructed to place their phones inside the sleeves and fasten them, at which point they are welcome to carry them inside the venue.
As soon as they enter the “no-phone zone,” however, the pouches will have locked shut, preventing anyone from firing off so much as a winking emoji. Need to make a call or send an email? No problem. Simply leave the designated zone (and head, say, to the lobby bar), and, as you move past several strategically placed stations, the pouches can now magically be unlocked.”
It’s obvious to see the appeal for some folks given the recent hysterics surrounding bizarre behavior during Broadway performances. And while admittedly most of us remain nitwits when it comes to cell phone etiquette, it’s hard to not see the peaceful cozy cell phone sock as a bit of a pipe dream.
As it stands, there’s nothing stopping an individual from hiding a phone, with the act of removing that person probably causing more disruption to the audience and artist than just letting them take a photo would have. It also seems inherently dangerous in the age of seemingly endless mass shootings to disrupt all cell phone communications in an entire venue, which is why the FCC has historically banned outright cell phone signal blocking (Yondr claims that venue staff’s phones will still work, but it still seems dangerous).
I think it probably feels good to believe you’re force feeding civility and decorum upon the brutish and inconsiderate masses, but at the end of day, those thinking that hope and a phone cozy are a replacement for etiquette (or will stop people from recording their experiences) will probably be disappointed, especially as we stumble toward our inevitable, transhumanist future, and our implants, phones, cameras, and other devices become increasingly difficult to detect.