The other patrons, the actors and crew and the owners of the theatre have rights, too. The right to enjoy a live performance free of distractions (teens talking on cell phones) and physical assault (being poked). The right to perform in a non-hostile environment (quelled only when a uniformed officer had to step in). The right to limit the use of personal communication devices (I'm sure there were announcements, both aloud and in print).
Do you think those three adults are embarrassed by their behavior, let alone the behavior of the children - yes, children - they were responsible for? I'm going to take a wild guess and say, "No freaking way!" No, I'll bet they left the place, heads held high and probably laughed about it and cursed the theatre personnel the whole way home.
You can argue with me until you are blue in the face that people have the right to access to their PDAs, cell phones, etc. at all times. I say no. There are whole hospitals where you have to have all such devices off, not just on "silent" or "vibrate." The signals of such items are said to interfere with the safe and accurate running of important hospital equipment. Some hospitals jam the signal, others confiscate devices until you leave.
And all because an individual feels he or she has the right to full access to texting and phone calls. I know there are extreme cases where a person may need to be contacted in an emergency. Like a doctor. Someone with a dying family member. A pregnant wife on the verge of giving birth. Maybe you are next on the list for a donor organ. Legitimate reasons to be available 24/7. In the old days, doctors left their name and seat number with the box office, and if they were needed, a call to the B.O. was made and an usher discreetly got the doctor from his seat. Why can't that still happen?
But in all those other cases I listed, and probably hundreds more, I have to ask: What the hell are you doing at a show when the lives of people you love hang in the balance??
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