Most people who own cell phones - i.e. almost all of us -- have experienced at least one horrifying moment when the phone noisily asserted itself and interrupted the sanctity of a moment. Relevant to us music lovers: the phone can interrupt musical moments such as a concert, a rehearsal, violin lesson or lecture. Or it interrupts other parts of life -- a church service, a doctor's appointment.
It can be very embarrassing, and sometimes completely unexpected. Wait, I would swear I had this on silent mode! What kind of notification is this, that gets through the measures I took to silence this thing?
To be sure, the best way to ensure this never happens is to turn the power off or just leave the thing at home. But increasingly, this is difficult or even impossible. Our phones do everything. For example, your ticket to the concert might actually be on your phone. Your directions to the venue might be on the phone. Or your phone is your car key!
I teach many violin lessons each week, and my policy is to ignore calls and texts. But I sometimes fail to remember to silence phone before every lesson, as they happen nearly every day at all hours. So I have to confess that sometimes the ding of a text interrupts, or the phone will actually ring from a call. In such cases I turn to the phone and say, "Be quiet, you are interrupting Maya's lesson!" and I turn it off without even looking. I know it would be more ideal if it the phone never made a sound!
I'm lucky I've never had my phone go off during a concert, and I learned my lessons very early during the cell phone age, when I had a phone ring during a rehearsal.
During a concert I played just a few weeks ago, though, a number of us were waiting backstage during one piece, and in the middle of it, a phone started softly ringing among the dozen or so cases parked right behind the orchestra shell! This sent everyone scrambling in the near-dark, trying to locate the phone, retrieving it from someone's belongings and then trying to figure out how to silence it!
The big danger is when you get a new phone or a major software update: what protective settings are no longer in place? Is there a new or different way to silence this thing? Did some notifications get reset?
Ideally, we all learn to silence the phone, to turn off notifications, to simply stow the thing away. But truth be told, smart phones are designed to interrupt and steal our attention!
Has your cell phone ever embarrassed you by interrupting a musical moment? Please answer in the poll, and then use the comments to vent your frustrations about cell phones - your own, or others'! Have you ever had a moment where you thought it was off, but then it dinged or rang? Have you ever been trying to simply show someone a picture or article, but then some loud video came on? Or have you simply been enjoying a dreamy musical moment at a concert, when some cell phone jingle broke the spell? Please share your experiences!
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