Over labor day weekend I went to the annual Seattle art and music festival, Bumbershoot, with a couple friends. Though I had my cell phone comfortably nestled in the front right pocket of my pants throughout the entirety of the weekend, rarely was I seen actually on the device, except to check the concert schedules on the Bumbershoot app. I wasn’t standing in the middle of the Flatbush Zombies mosh pit texting, I didn’t spend the Kygo concert with my nose glued to my screen, I wasn’t raising my phone to the heavens like Simba from the Lion King in an attempt to take a group selfie, I wasn’t…you get the point.
Sure I took the occasional video or posted a rare story, but I was at Bumbershoot with the foremost intention of actually enjoying myself in the moment. Yet as I look back on that fateful weekend and try to recollect the good, and bad, times I had, the image of countless teenagers completely oblivious to the ongoing concert in front of them, because they were on their phones, remains seared in my mind. It makes me go blind with rage. It drives me absolutely ballistic. Can we do nothing without our small electronic companions?
I paid about $280 for my three-day Bumbershoot pass. It was steep, yes, but money I was willing to throw down so that I could go see some of my favorite artists, and make memories that would last me a life time. However, I cannot shake the feeling that many of my peers paid that same $280 fee just for the opportunity to take selfies at the concert to post on social media later. It amazes me the extent that which some are obsessed with their public image.