I have noticed, with great annoyance, that many cinema and theatre patrons in Singapore do two very annoying and anti-social things. They talk – incessantly. And they text on their mobiles – frequently.
Is this inability to sit quietly, to appreciate a reflective deep moment, or to give oneself completely to a production a sad symptom of a hyper-stimulated society? Are people simply bored as soon as the flashing lights and noise on the screen stop, even for a second?
In every single movie and stage production I have been to in the last 3 months, there were people talking, whispering, and texting throughout the shows. I have had to ask people to put their phones away, and also to stop talking. Often after fuming in silence for a good part of the show.
Are these people simply inconsiderate, selfish or lacking in basic social graces?
Or perhaps they don’t appreciate that the quiet moments are as much part of the experience as the rest of the productions?
Perhaps they must fill all silences with chatter? And maybe texting is a national addiction?
If people can’t even sit still and quietly during a two hour performance, what does that say about their ability to say, read a book? Or work through a problem?
Oh course, I am not saying ALL Singaporeans do this. They don’t. But enough do to make themselves nuisances in cinemas and theatres. Maybe it is time the government steps in with a “Shut up and stop texting during shows” campaign…