In an interview with Variety earlier this week, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron seemed to submit to the imaginary collective will of “Millennials — who live on social media,” by teasing a pretty bad idea: Allowing people to text during the movie. Many people got very mad and AMC immediately backed down, tweeting this morning: “NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened.”
When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
That’s true—it’s how two-year-olds live their life. You tell them, “Please don’t be a dick,” and they deliberately shit themselves in anger and confusion. You can absolutely tell an adult movie-goer what they already know: A bright phone screen is abrasive and ruins the experience for everyone else.
To be fair, Aron didn’t suggest America’s biggest movie chain would encourage hordes of “Millennials” to light up the theaters with their Snapchats and Instagrams with impunity while you’re trying to concentrate on Errol Morris. He just suggested that AMC might “take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly,” but the mere idea was too much, too soon. A true vanguard.
Meanwhile, I will do my duty to make all auditoriums I grace with my movie patron-ship as texting-unfriendly as possible, with loud and demonstrative expressions of movie-unrelated displeasure—for I am also a dick.