One of my new year’s resolutions this year, which I began practicing before 2018 rang in, was to be on my phone less and live in the moment more. The average “young adult” uses their phone for five hours a day on average according to a 2015 British study. That’s approximately one-third of our waking day. Considering I check my email about once an hour and am constantly up-to-date on the latest Instagram post, I knew I had to change this for my own well-being.
Since my trip to Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2017, I have especially struggled with the idea to keep my phone in my pocket during concerts. Part of me wants to record my favorite songs so that I can never forget what it felt like to see that artist live, and of course to make all of my friends jealous. But on the other hand, I don’t want my friends to see the show because I paid of it, they didn’t. Plus, living in that moment without distractions helps ingrain it in my mind forever, and creates a memory that I can only share with all of the people around me. There’s something special in that. So, since that festival, I have made an agreement with myself to pick one song to record a part of and the rest of the set remains only a wonderful memory. I have been mostly successful.
Today, Jack White’s tickets go on sale for his 40-date tour following his “Boarding House Reach” album that drops on March 23. Earlier this week, White released a statement that cellphones will not be allowed at any of his shows. Instead, they will be locked away in Yondr pouches, and only accessible in Yondr-approved areas in the lobby of the venue. His statement reads:
“No photos, video or audio recording devices allowed. We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON. 100% human experience.”
While White is known for being an eccentric character and has stated before that he doesn’t like phones as his shows, he’s not alone. Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Alicia Keys and Adele have banned phones from their shows, too.
I already purchased my ticket and will be in attendance at his Portland show, and I honestly don’t mind putting my phone away for a few hours. Maybe it’s even for the best. I’ll be able to enjoy the show in its entirety with no unnecessary distractions from the outside world. True, I won’t be able to share personal photos or videos from the show, but it will likely be a night I will never forget. (I’ve sadly never seen White live and have been dying to.) Plus, White’s photographers will post professional photos on his new Instagram account for fans to enjoy and share.
However, I do see the other argument to it. Fans don’t like the idea that they’ll be forced to enjoy a show without their phones. And other fans showed concern of not knowing if there is an emergency without constantly having to walk to the approved Yondr zone. But most of us leave our phones on silent in the movie theater, in our pockets during a sports game or when we’re visiting our grandparents, right? We have become so reliant on instant and constant communication. But I think we can manage for a couple of hours. Especially when you’re doing something so awesome as to see Jack White perform live.
I am looking forward to enjoying seeing White for the first time live, cellphone free come August. But bet that I will check in at the Memorial Coliseum on Facebook before I go in to ensure my friends are at least jealous in the least bit.