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Should cell phones be allowed at concerts?

People have a right to take photos
by Sarah McLaughlin

Performers such as Jack White are having concert goers lock up their phones in order to give them a “genuine experience,” according to a statement written by White’s representatives. Requiring that phones be locked away negates a basic human right. As a US citizen, people have a right to their personal possessions, and by ripping away their cell phones, venues and performers are violating the audiences’ right to their personal possessions.

Performers and venues have people pay with their own hard-earned cash, so taking away their means to take photos and videos to remember the night doesn’t seem right. Yes, there are professional photographers there to take photos and videos that can be easily accessible. However, the element of nostalgia when using or just looking at someone else’s photos is stripped away. 

Requiring someone who has paid a decent amount of money to see one of their favorite performers live to relinquish their cell phone is not only unreasonable, but it also cuts family members off from being able to communicate with each other in case of an emergency. This is especially important today because of the amount of shootings and bombings that have taken place at concert venues. Without having easy access to cell phones, audiences wouldn’t be able to text their loved ones to tell them what was going on, and in the unfortunate event that they don’t make it out alive, that they love them.

Concerts are a place for everyone to go and enjoy their favorite music. It is also a time for people to relax and have a good time. If someone wants to use their phone to snap a few pictures and videos, they should be allowed to record their experiences. After all, they are the ones who paid for the experience.

Phones distract from the experience
by Allison Ackerman

Cell phones are constantly being used during shows in an attempt to record the experience fans have waited for. Too quickly, the concert ends, and all the concert attendees have left are memories, a ticket stub, and a few cell phone videos that don’t even come close to the real experience. Was it worth being distracted by a phone, trying to record the show instead of just being present? No.

Jack White announced his first tour in almost four years for his new album Boarding House Reach. For this tour, he’s having concertgoers lock their phones in a Yondr pouch (a small pouch that locks itself and only unlocked with the venue owner’s key), where it can only be taken out in specified areas throughout the venue.

Being able to take in the entirety of a concert without the incessant buzzing of a phone is a new, intimate experience. Distractions like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook can wait until after the concert. People  astonishingly still believe that somone attended that incredible show, even if Snapchat doesn’t have the 10-second, blown-out videos to prove it. 

Yes, it’s unfortunate that there have been shootings and bombings increasing in the past few years at concert venues. It’s crucial to be able to have a phone to contact loved ones. With the Yondr pouch, the phone is with the owner always. All the owner must do is to unlock the pouch with the key if there is an emergency.

Concerts are one of the few events in this world that can still be a new, thrilling, and intimate experience with the musician and other fans. It’s not a bad idea that White is trying to bring back a time where people didn’t constantly have digital stimulation. It’s rejuvenating for the soul to be present and unplugged. That is its own form of rebellion.

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