New research looking into the use of smartphones at live music events has found that we’re more interested in promoting ourselves on social media than taking the time away from our phones to enjoy the music.
Nearly a quarter of those polled by Mobiles.co.uk said they would use their phone at a live music event to represent themselves in a certain way on social media, hunt for Likes (22%) and prove they attended the event (30%). In contrast, only 1 in 10 said they would do so to raise awareness of a musician, band or venue.
When it comes to those using their phones at gigs, it seems men are the worst social-boasters. Of those polled 88% admitted using their smartphone to post updates and check-ins on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. In contrast, only 54% of women using their phones at gigs said they did the same.
Interestingly, whilst 18-24 year olds are revealed to be the worst offenders for using their phones at gigs, with 79% admitting to doing so, they’re also the most strongly opposed to the practise. Over half (52%) said they thought people should be banned from using phones at live events.
Vocalist from Sheffield indie rock band The Crookes, George Waite, has noticed this growing trend: “People want to record everything so they can show their mates later, or put it on Facebook rather than just going crazy. I don’t quite understand that but that’s because I grew up taking disposable cameras to gigs.”
X Factor’s Lucy Spraggan is more accepting of fans using their phones at her gigs, saying “I believe if they’ve paid for a ticket they can do what they like.”
However, in spite of this shameless self-promotion that audiences are partaking in, musicians still recognise the potential benefits to their own profiles. Emerging musician Will Connor says “It’s a massive compliment if someone’s enjoying your live set so much they want to record it to listen again or share with friends.”