we hear it all the time.
“please take a moment to silence your cell phones.”
people nonchalantly reach into their pockets. everyone is a little embarassed. people fumble in purses, pockets, coats. we pretend not to notice, but still judge, silently.
“you mean you still forget to do that?” we think to ourselves. we feel good, we’re tech savvy, we know to silence those little buggers.
settle in. page through the program. wait. a couple minutes go by. the introductions last awhile. no harm in a quick peek at the inbox, right? maybe tweet this? shoot, the [content] is starting. a shift of the hips, one leg straightens to make room in the pocket. not enough, because this is the/a(n) [crowded venue]. have to lean back a little, push off the floor just a touch to get this damn phone back in this damn pocket. seat shifts a little, squeaking. awkward. there! done. no harm in that. the open probably wasn’t important anyway.
then it starts. a little buzz. maybe it’s short. just a tickle. ignore it. this is a [type of production]! I know better than to start texting here.
all unanswered. maybe the thing in your pocket/handbag is really buzzing now. maybe it’s repeating the alerts. someone is really trying to get through. now it’s a full blown phone call. full rings. where’s the button to make it stop? try to reach it through the pants, no dice. gotta reach in again, push off the floor, chair squeaks again.
now, we have a scene. this whole thing probably lasts 20 seconds, tops, but you’re nervous for the rest of the [type of production]. you’re simply not present. time lost. experience squandered.
do yourself a favor. find that ever-present cell phone of yours and turn off the vibrate function. just turn it off. think about it, if you’re in a situation that requires you to silence your phone to begin with, having a veritable back massager in your pocket will only cause you stress.
be present. be silent. experience what is in front of you.