At a Concert? Turn Off Your Phone

In the current issue of Glamour magazine, there’s a story about how smart phones (and phone lights) at concerts have become a Glamour Don’t.

Or in the words of Beyoncé, “Put that damn camera down.” That’s what she told a fan at a concert in Atlanta last year. And honestly, I think it would be good for us to all to take her advice. Make her words our new words to live by. And put our damn collective phones down.

The Beyoncé quote is just one part of the article, but it’s one I’ve decided to completely overanalyze.

I guess she invited a fan to sing with her on “Irreplaceable.” That is the kind of moment when you tell your friend, your husband or the random stranger sitting next to you to HOLD MY THINGS BECAUSE I’M GOING TO SING WITH BEY. But this fan totally missed the cue, because of the phone.

So Beyoncé told the fan — and the entire audience because she was mic’ed — “You can’t even sing ’cause you’re too busy taping. I’m right in your face, baby. You gotta seize this moment. Put that damn camera down.”

Awk. I’m sure that fan was justifiably mortified. (But then again, how many fans can say they have a video of Beyoncé yelling at them? So maybe that makes up for the shame.)

What the story is suggesting is that Beyoncé’s outburst is a good thing because it signals the start of a contrary micro trend. Meaning, let’s stop thinking about how to document our fun and just have fun.

The story even has a statistic: 54 percent of readers said that posting pictures from events keeps them from enjoying that event as much.

If that’s the case, and the majority of us want to live a little more in the moment, can we do it? Can we go back to a time when you just had to tell people about the night you had, instead of showing them? Can we not judge the success of a show based solely on the number of Instagram likes the pictures have? Can we turn our phones off, or bury them at the bottom of our purses? Or (gasp!) even leave them in the car?

It’s hard. I know I’m guilty of it. I’m blessed that I always have a notebook in my hand at concerts, so it’s virtually impossible for me to juggle that and a pen and a phone. I have done it, though, and if you follow me on Twitter, you’d know that.

But from now on, I swear, I’m going to stop looking down at my phone and start looking up at life.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.