There is one specific reason I hate attending live events: the condescending reminder to turn off cell phones that is always accompanied by an ageist insult.
At live shows, attendees come in, take their seats, and the room is filled with excited chatter and the sound of shuffling programs.
The spotlight beams on the heavy velvet curtains, and the announcer appears. We listen to some bland remarks for a few minutes, and then I prepare my eye roll as I can sense the cell phone comments coming.
“We know you young people have a problem,” the announcer says, pausing for laughter. None of the Millennials laugh, dim chuckles from the rest.
With an all-too-knowing wink, he adds, “We know you can’t resist the Facebook or the Twitter (note the article “the”) for too long, but if you could please silence your cell phones, we promise your notifications will still be there after the show.” Another obnoxious pause for laughter.
I, as a Millennial, am tired of listening to this patronizing spiel. I personally regard it with contempt.
If, by some twist of fate, some stars misalign and a Millennial happens to leave on his or her phone volume (an extremely rare occurrence, we normally all have ours on vibrate), and they happen to get a text during the show, they are immediately aware. Their phone is silenced before the ping of the Apple text notification has fully reverberated off the walls.
Members of the other generations, however, still call each other. And they normally have their volume on. I have been in shows, meetings and even in church when a non-Millennial gets a phone call, and they have no idea how to turn off their phones. A panicked scramble occurs — sometimes they have to find their glasses first so that they can see the phone — and then they still have to figure it out.
I have seen several instances where the person was so lost they had to leave their seat and take the offending noisemaker out of the room because they were becoming such a major distraction.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am tired of the condescension. Yes, Millennials do always have their phones. That is why we know how to use them. And turn them off quickly.
I’m tired of the offenders pretending to be offended. For the most part, Millennials are not the problem. I’m not saying we’re completely blameless, but I’m tired of the accusatory cell phone lectures.
The members of the older generations were the ones who taught us in elementary school that when you point, four fingers point back at you.