Put down your phone and soak up the spectacle of the event with your own eyes
and live on Freeview channel 276
Smart phones have become an extension of our hands, so much so they’re a sixth digit to many - one so essential to our daily lives that to be without connectivity, even for a few minutes, is unthinkable. It’d take surgery to separate the two.
And, when it comes to gigs, events and shows, they are our window to what happens on stage, and it’s a mighty wee window.
I may marvel at the quality of the graphics and the technology to manipulate the photos we take, but you cannot possibly experience the scale of a major event while staring at that wee red record button on your phone.
My other half and I were at the Military Tattoo last week. You won’t see a show quite like it anywhere in the UK. The scale of the production is incredible, the backdrop spectacular, and the hundreds upon hundreds of performers arrive and depart with astonishing precision. It is a feast for the senses.
The woman in front of us spent most of the first hour recording bits, and watching the whole thing through her camera phone. She tap-tap-tapped the screen to adjust the quality of the image as the light show changed, and barely glanced at the huge castle esplanade just yards in front of her. I wonder if she will even watch a tenth of the footage before it comes up on her Facebook memories in 12 months time?
I get the desire to take pics and have a record of the moment. In the old days we had to wait a fortnight for Boots to develop our film. These days, the memory bank is filled instantly.
I’ll happily take a few snaps at a gig or festival, but I’d rather soak in the sights, the sound, the spectacle and the atmosphere all around me than stand with my hand in the air trying not to wobble while the band I forked out over £100 to see play finally deliver the song I’ve waited a lifetime to hear.
And, with the greatest of respect, there is simply no way you can replicate the sheer scale of the tattoo on your iphone or Samsung.
What’s worse are people who stream the gig live to their mates so they can join in. Sadly, all they hear is someone screaming off key, and probably get motion sickness as they try to watch the video being shot while everyone jumps around in the stadium.
Sometimes you just have to be there, and if you can’t - well, that’s life, or, at least it was until we all got infected with FOMO, the fear of missing out. It just heaps another layer of anxiety on to people who maybe need to step back from social media and smart phones instead of wrapping every inch of their lives around them.
There’s actually a joy to be had sitting in a dark theatre or comedy venue knowing you can’t scroll through Twitter or Instagram for nothing of any relevance or importance whatsoever. That digital break is much needed. Look up, rather than down, and drink in the landscape - it’s breath-taking. Even in Kirkcaldy.