Musician Alicia Keys recently made headlines by having a phone-free concert. Fans locked their devices into a pouch made by Yondr. Attendees keep the pouches with them, but they could only be unlocked by venue employees.
Yondr was founded by Graham Dugoni two years ago, and already artists and acts such as Louis C.K., the Lumineers, and Dave Chappelle have hired the company to police fans’ phone use.
“If you haven’t been to a phone-free show, you just don’t know what you’re missing,” Dugoni told The Washington Post. “There’s something about living in real life that can’t be replicated.”
I hate to break it to you, sir, but smartphones are a part of real life, too. I’ve been to concerts where multiple phones were in the air and I’ve been to shows where no phones were there. THEY WERE BOTH THE SAME EXPERIENCE. Sorry to yell at you. This is something I feel very passionate about. I admit, though, my passion for the freedom to take a photo is probably equal to someone’s passion for having a phone-free event.
Consider this, however. Taking photos actually helps you enjoy events more.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that those who took photos enjoyed and were more engaged with their experiences.
“To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first extensive investigation examining how taking photos affects people’s enjoyment of their experiences,” wrote Kristin Diehl, PhD, of the University of Southern California; Gal Zauberman, PhD, of Yale University; and Alixandra Barasch, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “We show that, relative to not taking photos, photography can heighten enjoyment of positive experiences by increasing engagement.”
The researchers included more than 2,000 participants in the study, having them take part in an activity where they either took photos or didn’t. The participants then completed a survey and in almost every instance those who took photographs reported higher levels of enjoyment than those who didn’t.
“Surprisingly, despite the prevalence of photo-taking today, prior research has not studied how taking photos affects the experiences being photographed,” the researchers wrote. “In this paper, we are interested in this very question: how does photo-taking affect people’s enjoyment of their experiences? Lay beliefs regarding this question vary widely. For example, some business owners and performers have banned cameras from restaurants and concerts, arguing that taking photos will ruin individuals’ experiences. However, the prevalence of photo-taking across countless situations suggests that many individuals do not share this opinion.”
Thank you, science.