Theaters Begin Adding Twitter Seating

It can be annoying to be stuck next to someone who tweets their reactions to an event, especially if that event is an upscale offering such as a Shakespeare performance, classic music concert or ballet and that’s why some theaters have begun offering “tweet seats.”

According to USA Today the new sections, typically located in the back row of theaters are already offered at Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Raleigh’s Carolina Ballet, and Ohio’s Dayton Opera.

The seats are being put in place so Twitter users won’t disturb other visitors to a show, while allowing those “connected” visitors to tweet freely about their reactions to a performance.

Speaking to the newspaper one CSO performance guest said she loves the option to:

“Communicate openly about my reactions to the music, musicians, and conductor—without speaking a word.”

While the tweet seats are a novel approach that connects to a new generation of technology users it’s not a generally accepted practice at our nation’s more upscale venues. For example you won’t find tweeting allowed at Carnegie Hall or the Kennedy Center.

As one concert visitor said of rude tweeters last month:

“They didn’t even look up to applaud at the end of each selection. The fact that they were watching their hand-held devices, they missed out on what was happening on the stage.”

As an avid follower and reporter of social media technology even I realize that there are certain times when you miss out on events if you have your face is buried in a smartphone. Do you think “tweet sections” is a brilliant way for venues to receive free publicity or just another way to indulge in a disconnect and partially miss out on the reality that surrounds us?

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