We all know and love AMC Entertainment. After all, it pretty much dominates the cinema field in Boston. On top of that, the movie theater chain is all over the country. The company always seems to outdo itself with its innovations, but its latest idea left audiences with a sour taste in their mouths. Headed by CEO Adam Aron, AMC Entertainment recently considered allowing texting in some AMC movie theaters, according to The Washington Post.
I cannot help but exhale a sigh of relief at seeing the negative feedback AMC received regarding this idea. The concept of permitting texting in movie theaters really makes me cringe, just as a principle. It often feels as though cellphones are glued to people’s hands in today’s world, and I admit that I am probably a part of that population. Honestly, it is hard not to. We millennials have grown up in an environment where technology is so centralized that it feels unnatural not to have our phones on standby.
That being said, it is necessary to keep in mind that cellphones and smartphones are not the be-all and end-all, and it is important to encourage that realization. By allowing texting in theaters, AMC would have contributed to this growing gray area of where to draw the line between technology and real life, and between turning to social media and turning away from it. I mean, honestly — the last thing a world that is so engulfed by technology needs is another place for texting addicts to type away on their phone screens.
Aside from the effects that texting would have on audiences, I think AMC underestimates the younger generation of today’s society. In an interview with Variety, Aron said that telling 22 year olds to turn off their phones is, essentially, unrealistic. The first words that come to my mind in response are, “I beg your pardon?”
The thought that people of that age cannot bear to part with their phones for a couple hours is just a harsh judgment based on stereotypes. I know I said that younger people, including myself, do love to be on our phones, but it does not mean that we do not need a reprieve from it at least once in a while. In fact, going to the movies is one of my favorite activities to do because it forces people to turn off their phones and escape from the interconnected world for a little bit. It encourages the audience to quit multitasking and just focus on one thing for a little while.
Besides providing a little peace of mind, going to the movies sans texting is nice because it removes that annoying compulsion to respond right away. You have an easy excuse for your delayed answer: “Sorry, I was in a theater.” No questions asked. Frankly, the movies are just a soothing way to pass time, and texting would completely alter the experience.
Luckily, AMC heard its audience loud and clear, as it will not be implementing texting in theaters anytime soon, according to The Washington Post. I hope that mindset stays put, though, because with phones become more sophisticated with each passing year, who knows how strong the addiction to texting will become? I guess we just have to keep things in perspective — as do movie theaters — and remember that time away from phones is healthy and should not be discouraged in any fashion whatsoever.