The Instigator
CannedResponse
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Reid
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

People Should Be Allowed to Have Cell Phones in Public Movie Theaters

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
CannedResponse
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,941 times Debate No: 19656
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

CannedResponse

Con

This is my first debate on debate.org, please teach me well! :)

TOPIC:
People should be allowed to have cell phones in public movie theaters.
By "have", I mean have a cell phone in their possession that is turned on (i.e. can receive calls and/or texts), during the movie (from the time they ask you to turn off your cell phones until the credits of the movie).
I will be arguing the Con side of this topic, that cell phones that are on should not be allowed in public movie theaters.

RULES:
- 4 rounds (this first round is just setting down the rules and accepting the debate, so it's more like 3 rounds)
- 72 hours to place the next argument
- 4,000 character max
- If you use sources, please cite them

That's pretty much it. Thanks to whomever accepts this debate and good luck!
Reid

Pro

I accept the debate created by the negative side.
I will be arguing people SHOULD be allowed to have cell phones in public movie theaters.
Good luck to the Con side and have fun!
I am now ready to hear Con's opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
CannedResponse

Con

Thanks Reid for accepting this! Let's have a fun debate.

==Con Opening Statement==

Ever had a great movie ruined by that one person chattering away on their phone at the worst possible time? I will present three arguments to show that people should not be allowed to have cell phones in public movie theaters.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that people go to the movie theater to watch a movie. Therefore, a typical moviegoer’s sole purpose of going to the theater is to enjoy a movie. I will argue that cell phones severely detract from a moviegoer’s enjoyment and make the trip to the movie theater meaningless.

Contention 1: Cell phones create noise and encourage talking.

There are several ways in which cell phones create unnecessary noise. The first is by ringing – if a person has their cell phone on in the movie theater and someone calls him or her, the cell phone will sound, startling the other moviegoers. Since people often have their cell phone ring volumes turned up high to hear the phone when it rings, the ringing cell phone may very likely drown out the sound from the movie. This is both a distracting and unpleasant experience for other moviegoers, and can also be embarrassing for the owner of the cell phone.

Once the call goes through, the owner of the cell phone, if not thoroughly chastised by the loud ringtone, will begin a conversation with the caller. It is nearly impossible to be quiet in an otherwise silent movie theater (other than the movie) when trying to talk on the phone, even more so than trying to have a conversation with someone next to you. Over the phone, particularly a cell phone, it is hard to make out clearly the voice on the other side, and as such, people need to talk more loudly over the phone than with people at their side. [1]

Noise like ringtones or talking on cell phones can ruin the movie, as we see from [2]. By creating noise and encouraging loud talking, cell phones are extremely detrimental to a moviegoer’s experience. But what if the owner of the cell phone has the ringtone on vibrate and is merely texting, instead of talking? This leads in to my next argument.

Contention 2: Cell phone screens create distracting white glare.


Imagine sitting next to someone in the movie theater who was pointing a flashlight in your face for two hours. That’s what it’s like to have someone next to you texting through an entire movie. Cell phone screens are made to be bright and readable, not very good attributes for the dark movie theater, and light up the theater like “pesky fireflies”. [3] This is one part of the cell phone that simply cannot be hidden if the phone is on – a texter needs to see the screen to text. Other activities, like checking e-mail or posting on Facebook, also require nearby moviegoers to be blinded. While the owner of the cell phone may be oblivious, magnetized to his or her glowing screen, others will have a hard time trying to ignore the bright light and regaining their night vision after the brilliant flash of the screen constricts their pupils. Without having to compete with bright cell phone screens, the movie can properly be enjoyed by the viewers. But prohibiting cell phones from being turned on the movie theater not only protects other moviegoers, but potential cell phone users as well.

Contention 3: Restricting cell phone use protects potential cell phone users.

As we see from [4], people tend to become irritated when someone is answering his or her cell phone in the middle of something – for instance, a movie. Although this may not typically reach the point of tackling the offender to the ground, the risk is still there. By restricting cell phone use, movie theaters prevent moviegoers from putting themselves in harm’s way.

Thank you and I await Pro’s response.

Sources:

[1] http://www.switched.com...

[2] http://youtu.be...

[3] http://www.wtop.com...

[4] http://youtu.be...
Reid

Pro

Topic: People Should Be Allowed to Have Cell Phones in Public Movie Theaters

Throughout my case, I use simple logic to identify the problems caused by cell phones and how they can be addressed.

First, within the topic itself, key words must be defined before proceeding.

Every word below is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary. Because my opponent provided no definitions of key words within this debate, we must look towards my definitions and how they accurately apply to the debate.
[1]People - "In emphatic use: human beings, as opposed to animals, spirits, etc."
[1]Should - "An utterance of the word should. Also, what ‘should be'."
[1]Allowed - "Permitted by authority, licensed."

Observation: Were debating whether a person should be allowed to have a cell phone in a movie theater or not. Anything else brought up is going off topic and must not be weighted in today's debate. I will use two contentions and then address my opponents case, and move on to discuss key issues in today's debate. My opponent also bases his his case off of the idea that people will be sitting directly next to each other, however, everyone following this debate has been to a movie where there has been many empty seats around that person.

Contention 1: All problems created by the cell phone can be easily maintained.
Sub Point A: Noise factor created by the cell phone. - Different things apply to this sub point, such as answering the call and talking which creates noise, and a cell phones ringer going off causes noise. First off, answering the call does not need to happen in affirmative world. [2] A study shown by the Pew Research Center showed that more then 72% of phone users send and receive text messages. When looking at this statistic, many calls that occur in movie theaters can be addressed with a simple text back, causing no distraction towards other individuals. Now lets address the cell phone ringer going off. Simply, the individual can put the phone on vibrate or silence, causing no distraction.

Sub Point B: The brightness will bother the individual. Cell phone companies today have already addressed this issue to the its full potential. Different phones, even iPhones, have the ability to be put on a very low brightness and extremely dim settings. Because of this, this extreme blinding light coming from cell phones is removed, and in turn, replaced with a dim, non-irritating light source.

Contention 2: People who work in movie theaters have the ability to remove someone from the movie theater if they choose to be a distraction to others. I provide an analogy for this sub point and again use common logic. When someone tries to sneak into a movie theater and they are caught, they are removed from it for a certain amount of time. Individuals can go to the manager to discuss the issue, the manager can then discuss with others if this was a problem to them, and can remove them easily. In the affirmation world, this option exists but people choose to ignore it, which is not the affirmative worlds fault.

Moving on to and address my opponents case.
His first contention says cell phones create noise and encourage talking. However, I have shown simply that all those noise problems can be logically solved. Also, what is considered "distracting" or "annoying" to an individual? His first contention is based on a subjective view point, saying that every person is distracted by these things. However, if this was true, then the cell phones would of been banned a long time ago. But because of certain mechanisms within phones themselves, we can remove all distractions.

His second contention says cell phones create distracting white glares. Again, under my second sub point, with a few clicks of a button, we can eliminate this problem. If its a continuous distraction, there are always people who work there to deal with issues of the sort.

[1] www.oed.com/
[2] http://pewinternet.org...
Debate Round No. 2
CannedResponse

Con

Thanks for the prompt reply!

==Con Rebuttal==

I will address my opponent’s arguments and then show why mine hold.

I accept my opponent’s definitions for this debate.

Observation
: My opponent says that I assume people will always be sitting next to each other in the theater and that therefore many of my arguments are invalid; however, this is not the case. First, while there may be empty movie theaters, many are packed full. [1] Since both scenarios exist, we cannot just assume the theater to be mostly empty. Second, even if a movie theater is mostly empty, the problems with noise caused by cell phones still stand because sounds from one section of a movie theater can be heard from far away.

Contention 1, Subpoint A
: I agree that the ringer can be set to vibrate to prevent loud ringtones. However, not everyone remembers to set their phone on vibrate. Phone-ringing episodes like the one in [2], in which a man’s phone went off in a Seattle theater, still happen, and are still disruptions to other movie viewers.

My opponent says that people can simply respond to any phone calls with a text back. I would like to ask my opponent: how exactly does this work? There are two scenarios here.

Scenario 1: You pick up the phone and say nothing, for fear of other movie patrons being annoyed. The caller is confused and the message is not relayed.
Scenario 2: In order to stop the phone from ringing, you press the “Ignore”. The offended caller hangs up and the message is not relayed.

I
n both, you could have just turned the phone off in the first place. You don’t know what the call was about, so how can you text a reply back? You might have a third option of letting the call go to your voicemail, but if your phone is ringing in the middle of a silent theater, do you let it ring? The suggestion of texting the caller back is impractical. Texting still does not solve the problem of bright cell phone screens.

Subpoint
B
: I would like to point out two things. First, be honest, do you dim your phone screen before the beginning of a movie to text during the movie? People are reminded to silence their cell phones, but not to dim cell phone screens. Second, in the dark movie theater, even a dimmed screen will seem bright. Text messaging may be silent, but is equally annoying as loud ringtones. [3]

Contention 2
: My opponent says that people choose to ignore the option of removing people from theaters, but people have actually been removed from movie theaters before for distracting activities like texting during a movie. [4] There are often not enough personnel to police the entire audience, so it is not a case of ignoring the option but being unable to fulfill the option.

For my own case
, I have re-affirmed my 1st and 2nd contentions in my responses to my opponent’s 1st contention. Many people forget to put their phone on vibrate and must answer the call, causing noise. Cell phone screens are not dim in dark movie theaters and can be just as annoying as noise. My third contention is unaddressed. The possibility of being attacked by other movie patrons may be slim but is solid. In the phone-ringing incident in Seattle, an irritated patron attempted to choke the phone’s owner. [2] We see clearly that allowing cell phones creates embarrassment and poses danger to potential users of cell phones.

My opponent provides no benefits of allowing cell phones. Do two hours of no texting do any harm? Since allowing cell phones in movie theaters is much more detrimental than beneficial, cell phones should not be allowed. Please look to the Con side of this debate.

Sources:

[1] http://www.movietickets.com...

[2] http://www.king5.com...

[3] http://www.puremobile.com...

[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Reid

Pro

I will address my opponents rebuttal and attack on my case using common sense and pure logic.

"Observation: My opponent says that I assume people will always be sitting next to each other in the theater and that therefore many of my arguments are invalid; however, this is not the case. First, while there may be empty movie theaters, many are packed full. [1] Since both scenarios exist, we cannot just assume the theater to be mostly empty. Second, even if a movie theater is mostly empty, the problems with noise caused by cell phones still stand because sounds from one section of a movie theater can be heard from far away."

The phone being set to vibrate is enforced my theater workers and again have the right to remove someone if they are distracting and being rude to others. Vibrating causes no excessive noise, and because of this, the noise factor my opponent brings up within this debate can not be weighed.

"Contention 1, Subpoint A: I agree that the ringer can be set to vibrate to prevent loud ringtones. However, not everyone remembers to set their phone on vibrate. Phone-ringing episodes like the one in [2], in which a man's phone went off in a Seattle theater, still happen, and are still disruptions to other movie viewers."

He sites a source along with that one that a man was thrown out of a theater for simply being a distraction. The same thing could have happened to the fellow in Seattle for not muting his cell phone. All phones have this option and can easily be enforced.

"My opponent says that people can simply respond to any phone calls with a text back. I would like to ask my opponent: how exactly does this work? There are two scenarios here.

Scenario 1: You pick up the phone and say nothing, for fear of other movie patrons being annoyed. The caller is confused and the message is not relayed.
Scenario 2: In order to stop the phone from ringing, you press the "Ignore". The offended caller hangs up and the message is not relayed."

Phones have the option to ignore calls by simply clicking a "Respond with text" that simply says "I am too busy to answer the phone, send me a message." The receiver of the text can then wait until the movie is done, or leave into the hall to address the message. Again, the phone is silent, no ringing issue is made.

His subpoint B questions the cell phone users willingness to dim the screen brightness and then proceeds with the "loud ringtone" argument. Once again:
1. Phone is silenced, no sound issue.
2. The appropriate authority figures within the theaters can assess the situation is the person is found causing this issue.

Contention 2 simply says, "there is not enough people to police the entire audience, so it is not a case of ignoring but being unable to fulfill the option."

People have the ability to report these issues. That ability is not taken away at ALL.

Lastly, he provides an example of a man choking another about the phone ringing. Once again, the man had the ability to go to the authority figure and ask him to deal with this. It is not my fault that this individual over reacted and ignored his options.

I will provide benefits to allowing cell phones in a theater.
1. It allows the person to respond to emergency situations by simply standing up, and exiting the theater door to answer the call. With the phone on silence, and low brightness, this causes minimal distractions and avoids individuals from freaking out.
2. For people who regularly get business calls, they are able to enjoy the movie and be able to appropriately respond to calls with a text or, once again, getting up and leaving the movie to answer it.
3. If individuals were not allowed to have them, then that must mean a type of search on the individual to make sure they do not have a phone, or "cell jamming device" be implemented in every theater, which would not be cheap for every movie theater to establish.

1. Noise factor is eliminated.
2. Brightness factor is eliminated.
3. Risk factor is eliminated.
Debate Round No. 3
CannedResponse

Con

==Con Closing Statement==

I will reply to my opponent's points and bring up the important issues in this debate.

My opponent says that theater workers have the right to remove a distracting patron and links this to cell phones. However, in Regal Cinemas for example, guests are asked to refrain from using cell phones, but not banned. [1] Employees have no legal ability to remove someone for a ringing cell phone during the movie. I believe they should have that ability, which is what I am arguing on the con side of this debate.

My opponent also says phones can be set to vibrate. However, as I have pointed out again and again, just because people have the option to set their phone on vibrate does not mean that they will take it. As I cited in my rebuttal, phone ringing incidents do occur. This also applies to screen-dimming.

"Phones have the option to ignore calls by simply clicking a "Respond with text" that simply says "I am too busy to answer the phone, send me a message." The receiver of the text can then wait until the movie is done, or leave into the hall to address the message."

By turning your phone off, you implicitly say that you are busy without interrupting the movie. Leaving the theater distracts other movie patrons as the phone's owner must stand up and fumble around in the darkness, blocking the view of the screen in the process.

"1. Phone is silenced, no sound issue.
2. The appropriate authority figures within the theaters can assess the situation is the person is found causing this issue."

This does not address the issue of screens at all. My second contention regarding distracting phone screens still stands.

"People have the ability to report these issues."

Although a moviegoer can go complain to an authority figure, there is no good way to report and possibly remove an offender without disrupting your own enjoyment of the movie. Reporting the issue also cannot fix the fact that the offender has ruined the movie for you.

"Once again, the man had the ability to go to the authority figure and ask him to deal with this. It is not my fault that this individual over reacted and ignored his options."

Of course I am not blaming my opponent for the man's actions. I am just pointing out that potential phone users can be threatened by quick-tempered patrons for using cell phones in the movie theater.

"1. It allows the person to respond to emergency situations by simply standing up, and exiting the theater door to answer the call."

This may be a small benefit but it does not outweigh the detrimental distractions to other movie theater patrons.

"2. For people who regularly get business calls, they are able to...appropriately respond to calls with a text or, once again, getting up and leaving the movie to answer it."

A business call is hardly something to bother a hundred other movie viewers with.

"3. If individuals were not allowed to have them, then that must mean a type of search on the individual to make sure they do not have a phone, or "cell jamming device" be implemented in every theater, which would not be cheap for every movie theater to establish."

This is not a benefit of having a cell phone. Even considering this, there are alternatives like a low-cost paint job that would block signals. [2]

At the end of this debate, all three of my contentions stand strong. My opponent tries to deny that there is a problem with cell phones in movie theaters, saying silencing and dimming can fix everything. However, I have given specific examples in my rebuttal showing that cell phones are a clear problem in theaters, aggravating moviegoers and ruining the entertaining purpose of movies, while putting the phone's owner at risk of embarrassment or physical assault. The harms of allowing cell phones far outweigh the meager benefits my opponent has offered. Please look to the Con side in this debate, and thank you for the wonderful debate!

[1] http://www.regmovies.com...

[2] http://www.csmonitor.com...
Reid

Pro

I will begin this round with addressing my opponents rebuttal.

"However, in Regal Cinemas for example, guests are asked to refrain from using cell phones, but not banned. [1] Employees have no legal ability to remove someone for a ringing cell phone during the movie. I believe they should have that ability, which is what I am arguing on the con side of this debate."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
^ This link proves my point of employees having the ability to remove distractions within the theater grounds. No need to ban phones when someone can get up and walk outside the movie into the halls, away from everyone, to answer your phone. Implying phones should not be allowed in theaters means their must be some legal recourse for not following that rule, however, that is not needed. Refer back to my link.

"My opponent also says phones can be set to vibrate. However, as I have pointed out again and again, just because people have the option to set their phone on vibrate does not mean that they will take it. As I cited in my rebuttal, phone ringing incidents do occur. This also applies to screen-dimming."

He is implying all his "incidents" occur when the persons phone is in fact dimmed, and ringing. However, again and again, I repeat myself stating that the persons phone will be set to vibrate, and if it goes off, his removed to avoid further issues. The phone doesn't even have to be dimmed, the person can choose to answer it by simply getting up and leaving the area.

"By turning your phone off, you implicitly say that you are busy without interrupting the movie. Leaving the theater distracts other movie patrons as the phone's owner must stand up and fumble around in the darkness, blocking the view of the screen in the process."

Again, making the assumption every theater is going to be filled with people.

"At the end of this debate, all three of my contentions stand strong. My opponent tries to deny that there is a problem with cell phones in movie theaters, saying silencing and dimming can fix everything. However, I have given specific examples in my rebuttal showing that cell phones are a clear problem in theaters, aggravating moviegoers and ruining the entertaining purpose of movies, while putting the phone's owner at risk of embarrassment or physical assault. The harms of allowing cell phones far outweigh the meager benefits my opponent has offered."

Basically, my opponent bases his case off of assumptions of what will occur, but I have provided a link to negate these and provided a source where theaters do remove people for causing distractions. I never said silencing and dimming fixes everything, but they also have the ability to get up and walk out, which is not a huge distraction to 100% of all the viewers. Apparently, my benefits are meager. However, to implement a cell phone blocker in every theater would not be cheap, you block a persons ability to respond to emergency situations appropriately, and allows people to be in contact with their business if on a break of some sort. Although you can not keep everyone 100% happy in a theater, these things can reduce the "anger" of many viewer and can resolve many issues created, and is why people should be allowed to have cell phones in theaters.

To address my opponents source on the "paint blocking" for cell phones. He fails to tell you voters that, "It allows emergency calls to go through while stopping general-purpose calls without jamming the full spectrum of cell calls. (Melamed is tight-lipped about the technology, saying only that it has a "patent pending.") In other words, it hasn't been developed and is not as inexpensive as my opponent appears to make it.

Thank you for the debate, good luck to the con side, and I wish you the best of luck!
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
You too Canned, I enjoyed it, and hope to debate in the future! :)
Posted by CannedResponse 5 years ago
CannedResponse
Hey Reid, thanks for the debate!
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
I'd support having some sort of cell phone jamming device in theaters.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 5 years ago
lannan13
CannedResponseReidTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better agruements
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I think that CON made better arguments and points on this, and made more reasonable observations. :) Good job to both of you.
Vote Placed by JakeBoatman96 5 years ago
JakeBoatman96
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Who want's to hear a cell phone go off while you're enjoying a movie? Seriously?
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Most of Pro's arguments rest on wordplay of Con's definitions and trying to use reasoning of why different definitions of what is "annoying" justifies cell phone use. arguments and conduct go to con.