Cellphones are ruining the concert experience

Martina Bretous/Staff Writer


Remember that time you told everyone on social media you were going to a concert, and then gave them unsolicited access to it? Well on behalf of everyone, next time, don’t.

Now don’t take this the wrong way, I’m sure your friends are happy you went to the concert. They’re probably excited to hear about it later, but do they really want to watch your video with shaky camerawork and muffled sound? Not particularly. Personally, I would rather go on YouTube, watch the professionally recorded version and enjoy being up close and personal with the artist in high-definition. All the same perks without the face-to-face awkwardness usually associated with getting that close to a stranger.

In addition to the subpar camera work you subject your followers to, this habit also affects your overall experience. With social media usage increasing everyday, concerts have been overrun by “fans” wanting to document every single moment with their cellular device, so that they can save it into their camera roll and never watch it again – unless it’s #ThrowBackThursday on Instagram.

Linda Henkel, a psychologist studying human memory at Fairfield University, conducted a study with students to examine the effects of photo documentation. Henkel found what she calls the “photo-taking impairment effect”. The results showed that by relying on a camera to record an experience, you end up remembering less because you are depending on an external memory to do it for you.

When I went to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “On The Run” tour, there was a woman sitting next to me editing a picture to post on Instagram. Editing while the Queen herself was telling us how she woke up today – flawless. I was so shocked that anyone would allow themselves to be distracted in front of such greatness but then I realized: not even Beyoncé could keep this woman from showing everyone she saw Beyoncé. She was going to post that picture, get those likes and hopefully, remember some part of the concert.

While Henkel does recognize the many benefits of documenting events with a camera, she thinks it is important to keep in mind the manner and frequency in which you use it.

So whether it’s at a Beyoncé concert or your homecoming concert, put your phone down, listen to the music and enjoy the moment. If you’re lucky, you might actually get to see the artist with your own eyes.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community


Image by Dantetg, retrieved from pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/smartphone-phone-event-1102247/



About the Author

Martina Bretous
Afro- Caribbean. Communication Arts Major. Cat lover. TV Junkie.

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