Put your phone down.

The writer of the above viral video comments on its inspiration:

I came up with the idea for the video when I started to realize how ridiculous we are all being, myself included, when I was at a concert and people around me were recording the show with their phones, not actually watching the concert… It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we’re not present because we’re looking at a phone […]

I have mixed feelings about the role of phones at concerts. I’m quite a leech in this regard. As this blog regularly shows, I’m grateful for the opportunity to revisit moments from Springsteen shows. On the other hand, I’d never miss the moment by recording it myself. I feel like it is worth someone recording at least the occasional special song. It’s the pissed people taking blurry, distant and pointless photos every minute for the entire three hours that need to heed the lessons here.

But as far as general life is concerned, the video seems spot on. We simply are allowing phones to encroach upon and impede regular social interaction. From now on, I’ll be turning my phone off if I’m meeting someone for a meal or drink. And though I’m as strong an advocate as anyone for the practice of photographing food which so many find irritating, there’s an etiquette to this too. I only photograph my own creations, rather than whatever I’ve ordered in a restaurant, and I snap it straight away before I sit down for the meal, and only upload the result once the occasion is over.

By the way, the video’s idea isn’t exactly new. The New Yorker was there a year ago:

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