There’s lots to reflect on in Jazz Monroe’s essay On Mobile Phones At Gigs & The Tyranny Of The Dopamine Economy:

When we submit to a profound experience of art, it’s a rare reprieve from the everyday torrent of triviality and distraction, low-level boosts that get us through the day.


Here are some facts about phones. Small concerts are not designed to outperform a £600 device containing the entire internet. That makes the radioactive slab of social energy in your pocket a cultural hazard. When you shoot a casual glance at its screen - perhaps unconsciously, out of undiagnosed boredom - the megawatt glare that screams into the gently lit room is not discreet. Not everybody else was bored at that moment.

Not everyone else was bored at that moment. That is such an important point. If we stare at a concert through the lens of the phone, we’re not just limiting our own experience, we’re also affecting those around us. New life goal: don’t take my phone out of my pocket at all the next time I go to a concert.

Rian van der Merwe Product manager • Designer • Speaker