Hey folks, Harry here... With the rumors of a THEATER MODE update coming to my iPhone and various folks wondering what that would mean, I thought about what it should mean.
When one is going to a movie theater - to see a film with their fellow human beings, that's a choice to see something not at your home, where the phone could ring, someone could knock on your door, the dogs could bark, the cat could do something cute, you can be distracted by the internet as you watch - basically - your home is your kingdom. At home, you can do just about anything you want while watching a movie.
However, when you enter a theater, I was always raised to watch the movie, save my questions till the end of the movie and be respectful of those around me. As they all paid for this experience and it is not my right to disturb paying customers to take in. Now I get it - respect for our fellow humanity is at an all time low. We applaud foreign powers to interfere with our elections, because perhaps you like the results, but this is... UnAmerican behavior. Just as using your phone in a movie theater is.
Movie theater ettiquete has always been a problem. Prior to portable electronic brains we hold in our hands, there was always THOSE people that have mini-conversations - as they seem to think that because something popped up in their heads during the movie, that the person sitting next to them will admire their brilliance for sharing the information. Because this narcissistic piece of shit doesn't consider the 7 -15 people in close proximity - just wants them to shut the fuck up.
Before the advent of STADIUM THEATERS - most movie theater seats were on a much more gradual plane of existence. Meaning you had to worry about TALL PEOPLE sitting in front of you, or HIGH HAIR, or a 10 gallon cowboy hat. You had to worry about children or babies... Or people that had to go use the bathroom and they'd brush by your knees, stepping on your toes... Or that person who needed more theater food going in and out of the theater 3 times for that.
And when I was even younger... there was SMOKING in theaters. My mom was one of these freaks - that had to smoke - and theaters allowed it - but she also was a self-loathing smoker, so she would typically go to the sides of the theater and smoke in a seat away from us. The coolest part about smoking in the movie theater was that you could see the beam of light coming from the projector and there'd be colored smoke over your head. Movie theater seats had ashtrays built in.
SO - we've come a long way - but the scourge of PHONE USERS is threatening... nay... it is ruining film experiences for people. And APPLE wants to help - and the rumors are that THEATER MODE will shut down haptics, make the screeen very very dark, kill all sound.... and yeah, this is a step... but it still encourages use of the phone, possibly.
What should THEATER MODE be?
Ideally... we can use our phones as we wait for the film trailers to begin. Then I would love it if the projectionist flipped a switch that just shut every phone off in the theater. If you need to use your phone, you'd have to leave the screening room, and your phone would come on. The shut down device should be available to business owners, schools, music concerts, live theater.
We as a society shouldn't have to need Phone Killing Signals, but we do. We need to think about communal experiences and respect. We should be raised better. It begins with handing kids glowy screens when we don't want to deal with them. No, deal with them. My parents began teaching me movie theater ettiquette at the earliest of ages.
I don't really feel like yelling at Tim Cook at Apple for THEATER MODE - because we're not even 100% what it is. BUT - the concept of a THEATER MODE as a CHOICE doesn't really help, because that means that a person is actually attempting to be considerate at some level, but still wants to be an inconsiderate prick.
A separate device used by the theaters themselves to shut devices down would end a large amount of movie piracy - of the filmed in a theater variety.
THEATER MODE to me - is the mental state that we as film goers need to share with one another.
The courtesy of acknowledging that we are all paying customers that are coming to be entertained by what is onscreen. If it isn't entertaining you, LEAVE. Don't ruin the experience for those around you. If the movie is so boring, you'd rather text or browse social media... LEAVE. If the movie is so badass that you must tell the world right that second how awesome it is... Save that thought in your MIND. Then, after you've left the theater... share with the world.
All that said - I do want a phone killing signal that the projectionist or business owner can activate when it's time to pay attention - cuz people need to be treated like idiot children it seems.
What say you?
Keep it cool,