Concerts have always been a source of great joy for me, however recently my concert experiences have been brought down by the omnipresence of phones. It seems everyone around me is on there phone trying to post about how cool it is that they are there without actually enjoying being there. In response to this many singers and bands are attempting to make their concerts cell phone free zones, getting behind this movement are artists such as Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan, HIM, HER, and Beyonce. Upon researching this I have found that there are many different opinions and studies that advocate for both sides. A study conducted by physiological scientist from Yale and the University of Southern California found that taking pictures at concerts may actually enhance a viewers satisfaction with the event. The conclusion of the study was that when you are taking pictures you are more engaged and hence more satisfied which brings people more joy from the experience. However even this study put a disclaimer, taking pictures helped people come out of the experience with more joy so long as “the photo-taking does not become an impediment on the event.” Although the opinions of artists and experts, specifically from the Rolling Stone and Caliber Magazine, tend to be on the other side of the argument. As Greil Marcus, music journalist, scholar, and author of the acclaimed “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music,” puts it, “When you’re holding up your cell phone and you’re recording a video of a performance, you are yourself representing it rather than experiencing it directly. You’re putting distance between yourself–emotional, physical, technological–and the performance.”He argues that there is a level of excitement you get at a concert that is caused by the unpredictability of it all, one never knows what is going to come next. When you are holding up a phone you are no longer experiencing this directly, you are experiencing it through your phone which takes away from the experience.
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