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Miranda Lambert Is Right: Put Your Stupid Phone Down

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Miranda Lambert has had it with your distracting selfies. The country music star paused her Las Vegas concert this weekend to call out fans taking selfies while she sang her popular ballad, “Tin Man.”

“These girls are worried about their selfie and not listening to the song,” Lambert said stopping the show and pointing to two fans in the crowd. “It’s pissing me off a little bit.”

While the audience cheered Lambert on, in one TikTok version of the video, you can see fans walking out over the commotion and hear someone saying, “You don’t do that to fans. … Let’s go.”

Naysayers will call Lambert a prima donna or criticize her for derailing the show for everyone involved, but in her defense, “these girls” were already derailing it for everyone around them, including the artist who is trying to focus on performing. The presence of phones at live events, be it movie theaters or sporting events, is an epidemic in this country. Public shaming is really the only way to weed it out, as Lambert perfectly demonstrates.

In February, a photo taken the night LeBron James broke the NBA record for all-time leading scorer went viral. Not because of the record-breaking shot, but because virtually every single fan in the photo, except octogenarian Nike founder Phil Knight sitting in the front row, was more concerned about capturing a photo of the shot instead of witnessing it with their naked eye.

What does it say about a society that’s more concerned with trying to save a moment in time to our camera roll than fully experiencing said moment in time? Lots of depressing things, I’m sure. But in the case of the Miranda Lambert concert, it’s about respecting the time, space, and experience of others around you — including, but not limited to, respecting the artist you are paying to see.

Like returning a shopping cart to its parking lot corral or opting not to recline your seat into your fellow passenger’s leg space on an airplane, in a properly functioning society, we perform acts of selflessness and courtesy for our fellow man. In our phone-addicted modern world, putting your blue light away is one that we must all adopt, not just for our own sake but for each other. Don’t ruin the movie for everyone else by checking your email in the theater, and don’t make the person behind you watch the whole concert on your iPhone screen. You’re only going to delete all the videos later to make space for your next Vegas show.

Focus more on the art and the meaning of the song Lambert wrote in the midst of a public divorce than getting the right angle to post on Instagram later. It’s better for you and the people standing behind you trying to do the same.

“Sorry, I don’t like it. At all,” Lambert told the crowd. “We’re here to hear some country music tonight. I’m singing some country damn music.”

More artists and audiences should follow her lead and try enjoying music through something other than a screen.


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