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Dear Parent, Don't Be an A** at the School Play

04/08/2015 12:07 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2015
Colin Hawkins via Getty Images

The last time I attended a function at my daughters' school, I didn't actually see my daughters, because the view of the stage was blocked by dozens of bobbing tablets held overhead in an effort to record the show. I have a few questions for these parents.

  • Did you know you're blocking the view of everyone behind you? How do you not know this? Or do you just not care?

  • Why are you recording this? Are you really going to watch it later? Or, more likely, will it languish forever in that insatiable, digital void?
  • Wouldn't it make more sense to take a still photo of your child after the play? She could even stand still and smile. And, unlike that useless video, you could actually do something with the photo.
    • Are you going to take her out for ice cream after the show to celebrate? Will you spend that time staring at your phone, reading your email, checking in with Facebook, and tweeting about what a great job your daughter did in the school play? Because you're likely not a first-time offender. I'm guessing this behavior occurs in many areas of your life.

    The fact that this practice is rude and impractical is far from the worst aspect of it. Here's the truly awful part: When your child is on stage, she's looking out at the audience and there is only one thing in the world that she wants at that moment, which is to make eye contact with you. She wants to see you, to catch your eye, to know that you see her. She wants to see you and smile at you and blush when you smile back.

    But she can't. You've taken that possibility away from her because you've been sucked in to this ridiculous thinking that everything must be recorded, photographed, uploaded, and tagged. If she does see you, she sees you staring at a screen. As for the argument that you are looking at her, that's bullshit and you know it. Stop it. That screen you're holding up is a physical wedge you're putting between you and your own kids. Watch your child perform live on stage in front of you. You'll be a better parent for it.