Sometimes you need to put technology away and just enjoy the show

Last night, my wife and I attended the Billy Joel, Elton John Face 2 Face concert. It’s no surprise that, since our kids were born, we haven’t been to a lot of concerts so I found it fascinating to people-watch throughout the concert.

Even more fascinating was the tremendous use (and mis-use) of technology during the concert. I wish I could have talked to the people I observed but it was a little too crowded for that. But here’s what I would have said:

  • To the teenagers and 20 somethings: If you tell me you went to the concert I will believe you. I don’t need to see a blurry, overlit, washed out, 1 megapixel cell phone picture of the stage on Facebook as proof.
  • To the dozens of people around me texting the name of each song to their friends: Put your cell phone away and enjoy the show. Besides, the concert ticket cost more than a year of text messages anyway.
  • To the person in front of me with the digital camera: You are too far away for a good picture. And besides, you digitally zoomed every picture and will be sorely disappointed when you see the resulting pictures the next day.
  • To the people sitting at the far back of the arena: The flash on your camera will light up a subject about 10 feet in front of you. That’s approximately 390 feet less than you need to take a good picture of Billy Joel or Elton John from where you are sitting.
  • To the person sitting next to me recording video on her digital camera: The sound equipment for the concert probably costs over $100,000. The microphone in your digital camera probably costs about 50 cents. How do you think your recording is going to sound when you play it back?

Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. But there’s a time and place to use it. And when Billy Joel and Elton John are performing live on stage at the same time, it’s time to put the technology away and to sit back and enjoy the show.