Politicians, actors, musicians, professional athletes, all have at least one thing in common – they do not take it lightly when they’re filmed without their consent; whether by members of the press, the paparazzi, or even their fans. So while celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Adele and others have already politely or sternly asked audience members and concertgoers to stay off their handsets and stop recording them during their shows, singer Alicia Keys is now taking her opposition to the use of smartphones within concert halls to new heights.
According to reports, people attending Ms. Keys’ concerts from now on will have to put their handsets in a small pouch that will be provided to each and every concertgoer to tuck away their phones. What’s really dividing opinions on the issue is the fact that once the phones are locked up inside the pouches, users apparently won’t be able to access them unless they leave the venue. That’s because the pouches come with a smart-locking facility that keeps them locked when within a specified area. While some commentators on online forums, message boards and social media are applauding the move by saying that they find it highly disrespectful when people text away or speak loudly during movies, plays or concerts, others are vigorously opposing the ban by pointing out how it can potentially put audience members and concertgoers in harm’s way.
Either way, the company that’s marketing the controversial pouches is called Yondr, and not unexpectedly, the firm is forcefully putting its message across. According to its website, the company believes some areas should simply be ‘Phone-Free’ zones. Elaborating further, Yondr says, “We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch — cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings”. It remains to be seen how this whole thing pans out, but even though live performers would understandably want not to be disrupted or distracted during a performance by ringing phones or flashing cameras, the debate on whether a blanket ban is the right way to go about it will rage on.