Turn out the lights and put up the chairs, everyone, because we're done here: it seems the new fad for theaters — we're talking the kind that put on plays, dance performances, and concerts here — are special sections designated for those who want to tweet about and throughout the performance. That's right! Actual, professional theaters have not simply given up in the battle against mid-performance cell-phone use, they've switched to the other side. What on earth could they be thinking? Let's hear from some "tweet seat" supporters:
"This is sort of an enhancement … because there is a way to interact during the show."
"It was great to see how people were reacting to the orchestra, reacting to the conduct and, frankly, reacting to the insights happening backstage"
"This is pretty cool."
Look, I'm sure that attendance at the ballet and the orchestra and your production of Hello! My Baby is not what it used to be, and speaking as an effete homosexual, that truly breaks my heart. But please, there has got to be a better way to perk up your numbers than actively encouraging people to whip out their iPhones and live-tweet Swan Lake. Couldn't you try free popcorn?
I don't want to sound like a Luddite here — I was once caught by my mother playing Angry Birds, reading an article online, and watching Law & Order SVU all at the same time so I realize that our attention spans and our capacity to multitask are simply different these days. But I can't help but think that, no matter how quick you can type with your thumbs or how little you need to look at your screen, you will always be missing something if you're concentrating on your hashtag use and the stage. Always. And if you truly feel compelled to constantly update Twitter while you are at the theater, you have a problem. And that problem is me, standing behind you, with a hammer, ready to smash your phone into a thousand pieces.