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Today’s sign of the apocalypse: Theaters setting aside Twitter-friendly sections

You know how sometimes you go to a movie or a play or a concert and someone near you won’t stay off his or her damn phone and though you try not to look at the little, glowing screen you just can’t help it and you’re left not paying enough attention to what you’re supposed to pay attention to and left kind of wanting to kill kill kill? Well, what if venues encouraged that behavior? Apparently this is now a thing according to a recent USA Today article:

A growing number of theaters and performing groups across the country are setting aside “tweet seats,” in-house seats for patrons to live-tweet during performances, including the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, N.C., and the Dayton Opera in Dayton, Ohio.

Rick Dildine, the executive director for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis — an outdoor theater festival that began using tweet seats two years ago — said tweet seats have “become a national trend.”


Why? Reading between the lines of the piece there seem to be two reasons: 1) Performance companies, which tend to struggle in even the best economies, want to harness the power of social media and assume that hashtags translate into ticket sales 2) patrons who want to use their phones are going to use their phones anyway, so why not give them a space to call their own away from other patrons? When those sections get bigger, “tweet seats” become the norm, and humanity loses its ability to process art without pausing to boil down their reactions into 140-character thoughts, you can blame the Dayton Opera.

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