So I attended the social media charrette presentations at COLAB yesterday. First, let me say to the organizers and presenters: AWESOME JOB! For lots of great information about it, see the previous gazillion posts. For some ridiculous musings rolling around in my head since then, read on.
Ridiculous Musing #1: Everyone invited was half my age. If they had a whole bunch of old people (like, not me, but like my parents’ generation….just to be clear….I’m not old….are you listening?!), here’s what the results would be:
Social media, social schmedia! Who needs it?
Then they’d have a whole bunch of slides of Eisenhower and highways. And Elvis. And apple pie. And telephones. Preferably using an overhead projector. (Here’s a good Eisenhower quote I just found: “Ankles are nearly always neat and good-looking, but knees are nearly always not.” He was an observant one, that Eisenhower.)
Ridiculous Musing #2: I raised the question of texting, tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, and otherwise blabbing into the void during performances in the theater. I said I know I’m a generation older and all, but did their generation think there were times when using social media was inappropriate? Everyone agreed that unless it was condoned by the performers, it should not happen, that there’s a time and place for it, blah, blah, blah, and I was really happy to know it’s not just me being an old fart. (I”m NOT old! Are you listening?!) I would add that even if the performers condone it, it blows my whole vibe as an audience member, making me want to take everyone’s devices, smash them under my (very stylish and not at all dowdy) heels, and beat the perpetrators unconscious.
The upshot is that there should be social media sections in theaters. Stick everyone in one spot and let them tweet away. Preferably in the back, where the lights from their phones will not distract. And maybe there all the lighted displays, brought together, will blind them and force them to watch (listen to) the show like normal people. Or even better: stick them out in the lobby with a TV monitor! OH! Better yet: put a one-way mirror around a whole section, so they can see out but the rest of the audience can’t see in! OO! OO! OO! I have another one! Put them behind a scrim upstage and let their phones light it up! And make them pay extra for the privilege of being onstage!
Anyway, afterward one guy said there were people tweeting during a performance of Hamlet at the Royal Opera House in London. HAMLET! God, I could just spit.
RM #3: A presenter pointed out that their generation will be the one to pass on social media etiquette to their children, thereby avoiding the mess made by my generation with our children, where all we could do was stand back and say “What the–?!” because what did we know? My generation does know you never, ever hit a child, even if they’re tweeting at dinner, at the movies, while you’re driving them to soccer and violin and the beach, while they’re playing soccer and violin and on the beach, while you’re yelling at them about getting off the bleeping phone, while they’re sleeping, while they’re in the shower….you just lecture them until you’re blue in the face and hope they have children just like them when they grow up.
This is why my children don’t have cell phones. It’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Meanwhile, the guilt generated by them being the only kids of all their cousins who don’t have cell phones is about to give me an aneurysm. So I think I’m dead either way.