How Have Smartphones Changed Nightlife… and Dancefloors?

Picture this – you’re with some of your best friends on a Night out, and one of the tracks that you all know and love starts playing. In a fit of excitement, you call your friends to the Dancefloor to grab them to start dancing. Yet, they’re all on their phones, adding captions to their Instagram/Snapchat Story.

It takes a few seconds for them to realise that the track is playing and after a bit of disorientation, realise what it is and follow you there (the same friends who, over the course of the day, were taking a photo of literally everything they were doing).

Then, you’re on the Dancefloor, and they are still on their phones, documenting every. single. frame. of all your night.

Now, this is not a criticism piece by any means, and I’m not going to go into detial about the impacts Social Media and Smartphones have had in modern life. Depending on who you speak to, it’s the greatest thing invented, or the worst, but nevertheless they have certainly changed the way we communicate.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of the odd photo or two, to post onto Twitter, Facebook, etc – I normally take the odd photo/video to brag about something (recently I’ve done this to promote how good a place is). And getting a photo with your friends is cool to savour the moment.

However, in my opinion, there is a difference is between checking your phone or staying on your phone. Literally one takes seconds – checking an unread message, responding back – whereas the other takes minutes, often repeatedly – checking Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat feeds, etc. On this particular night, two of my other friends got hugely annoyed as we spotted another one looking at his Instagram feed, cue the ‘Oh am I boring you, am I?’ comments. Those type of conversations never end well.


It does detract away from the atmosphere of your night with your friends, and the venue as well. Many venues/parties actively discourage it (see the ‘Phone Off, Rave On’ poster that was at Fabric way back when), the Underground Event series Boiler Room spardocially run ‘Unplug’ parties that discourage use of phones, as well many venues actively discourage this to prevent theft as well.

I think that is something that can’t/won’t be changed, no matter what anyone says – however, if you’re like me and want people to stop staying on their phones, rather than just checking them, sometimes just raise it with them. Or walk away. You’ll be surprised how often that works.

Because the atmosphere, noise, and feeling of being out with friends can sometimes be amazing. No Facebook post/Tweet/Snapchat/Instagram Story can replicate that, no matter how hard they try!

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