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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

More on texting at the movies

I remember, last summer, launching a minor rant on this blog about texting during movies. It’s something I feel pretty strongly about — movies are getting increasingly expensive, and nobody wants to have their pleasure at sitting in the dark enjoying “Alice in Wonderland,” say, ruined by the flashing lights of some idiot three seats over who’s trying to set up a post-movie hookup. But I’ve recently been wondering, sadly, if this ship has sailed and I’m left on the dock, sadly waving a futile hand against something unstoppable. Maybe not; I was pleased to read on Slate.com this week that technology columnist Farhad Manjoo had surveyed more than 300 readers about texting etiquette, and found some surprising unanimity on one particular point:

Among the hundreds of comments we received, there was one area where readers were in absolute agreement: Never, ever text at the movies. Even text addicts agreed–the light from your cell phone is obnoxiously distracting to everyone else in a large, dark theater, and you deserve a pile of popcorn in your lap when you turn it on. Some even advocated extreme measures to prevent this sort of thing: “I wish U.S. movie theaters would build Faraday cages around the theaters,” wrote a reader named Harley Blue Acres. “The movie theater should be the most sacred and holy space that is void of any sort of distractions. Especially at today’s ticket prices.” Rather than electronically jam theaters, let’s decree that if you feel the urge to text at the movies, do what you’d do when you want to go to the bathroom–leave.

Amen. On that agreeable note, I’ll leave you on this lovely spring-like Friday with something irresistible: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and “You Make My Dreams” from “(500) Days of Summer.” I’ll be off Monday; back and blogging Tuesday. May your weekend be filled with song and dance, or whatever puts a spring in your step.

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