Christmas concerts are not photography studios

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

For many, the holiday season is a time of merriment and cheer. At least it should be. Everywhere you look, there are countless performances carrying out the rituals of the season. Store displays, choir concerts, Rotary Lights…

My 16-year-old brother and I recently took part in such a ritual. We attended the Manheim Steamroller concert held at the La Crosse Center two weeks ago. I was so excited to spend some quality time with my brother, ushering in the sounds of Christmas and getting pumped for our upcoming winter break.

The performance was spectacular. The lighting effects, the impressive versatility of the musicians…but there was one aspect of the night that significantly impacted my entire experience: the annoying, middle-aged lady who wouldn’t put her digital camera down.

Picture this: a pitch-black theatre space, with colorful lights dancing behind the performers, in time with the music. Now, add an aggravating orb of white light directly in your line of vision. No matter how hard you try to look away, or concentrate on the sounds, that little light keeps shining. Better yet, it flashes every few moments, distracting your attention from the stage.

That was my concert experience.

Which brings up my point: since when do we as a society feel the need to document every little thing that happens to us? Why are we so inclined to step out of the moment, affecting the moments of others?

Giving up on the concert, I watched the woman in front of me in amazement. What in the world is she taking all these pictures of, I asked myself? After each flash, I scrutinized each after image that showed up on her LED screen…only to discover that all her pictures were exactly the same.

I am not trying to say the woman shouldn’t have taken any pictures, but I am saying she should have limited herself to five or fewer. Dozens of flashes later, the performers have moved merely pixels from their previous poses.

What resulted from her obsession to record everything almost real-time made it miserable for me and everyone around her.

“How does this apply to me?” readers may be wondering? Our generation is equally as obsessed with documenting every little thing that happens. As you participate in performances of your own this holiday season, I invite you to stay mindful of others, and remember to put your cameras down and enjoy the show.

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