Smart phone etiquette at concerts

Look, I’m not an expert, but judging from the number of ‘incidents’ I witness with people using their smart phones at a concert I was at recently, neither are your parents. So do them a favour and let them know these simple rules when taking mobile devices to music concerts.

Photograph by Kenneth Lu (via Flickr, used under Creative Commons)

5 ways to use your smart-phone (at a concert) so as to not piss off THE JAMJAR!

  1. Set your ringtone to silent - okay I'll accept 'vibrate' but please turn that ringtone OFF for the concert.
  2. Dim screen brightness - while you're in your settings turning that ringtone to vibrate, also change the brightness of your screen to the dimmest setting. A cellphone in the dark is like a laser-beam and very very distracting to those of us sitting behind or (even worse) higher up the tier seating.
  3. Turn off the camera’s flash - apart from being very distracting for both the audience and those on stage, the flash will give you terrible photographs of those on stage and fantastically over-exposed photos of the backs of the people in front of you. Also, with some phones, when you have the flash setting on and you video in low light, the flashlight will enable itself. The people in the five rows in front of you will NOT be happy they're backlit by bright, white light.
  4. Don't use your flash's light as a lighter - back in the olden days, before smart phones and when you were expected to smoke cigarettes at a concert, sometimes holding a lighter flame above your head was great during slow, sad songs. The flash light function of your phone is a zillions times brighter than a lighter and does not create the ambiance of days gone by. Only ever do it if the band asks you to and really, you only need to hold up an activated screen to be part of the crowd.
  5. Take ONE photo or short video - taking a photo of the performer every time they sing a song you love doesn't really make any sense when you think about it. Videoing the entire concert is also a waste of time for many reasons, least of which your video will be crap and the microphone'll pick up your fellow audience-members singing along. Taking one photo or one video of part of a song for Instagram, Facebook or your blog is all you need to do. Spend the rest of your time with your silent phone in your pocket and just enjoy the concert you paid to see.
  6. BONUS TIP: leave your iPad at home. You look like a bloody idiot!

Example of why you need to turn your flash off on your camera phone. Granted, it all worked out okay for April O'Neil, but you might be so lucky.