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Tweeting for the Arts?
By: Jessica Cherok
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Having your cell hone out in a theater during a show is typically regarded as being a major no-no. Recently, however, several theaters around the country are actually giving away free seats to people who will keep their phones out to tweet about performances.

These “tweet seats” are meant to generate buzz about the theaters’ shows, and hopefully entice more people to attend. Patrons sit in specially designated sections and tweet about the performances (hopefully without giving away any crucial plot line details) in real-time. All for free.

But do you really want to sit next to someone who is live tweeting throughout the performance?

Certainly tweeting isn’t the same thing as carrying on a full-blown phone conversation with someone. Still, having someone’s cell phone backlight repeatedly interrupting your peripheral vision could get annoying.

And let’s go back to the earlier point about not tweeting away the plot twists. We’ve probably all seen someone ranting in our Twitter feed about how the outcome of their favorite TV drama was just ruined for them by people tweeting about it. Or, if it’s happened to you, you know just how irritating it can be.

Even though the theaters have instructed people not to give away important details, the risk is still there. And if someone erroneously tweets the plot twists, it may end up discouraging others from seeing the performance. After all, if you already know who done it, why go?

Still, if you like to tweet and want free seats for it, offers like these might be perfect for you. Just make sure you also know how to dim the backlight and keep the juiciest details to yourself.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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