I was sitting in rehearsal recently and decided to take a note of cell phone use. I am in some kind of rehearsal Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. On Sundays I sit with the low winds in the back of the orchestra so it’s easier to see because people usually keep their phones on their stands next to their music so it looks like you’re just making notes on the page. Anyway, over the course of the past four rehearsals I noticed a striking number of cell phones being used while we were playing a piece! If the clarinets had a few measures of rests (seriously not even twenty seconds), some people checked their phones and some were checking twitter. Have e become so dependent on technology that we can’t go five minutes without checking into social media or sending a text? It’s one thing to text in class, but to be actively engaged in a task that demands your attention, and you can’t even focus for five minutes. How would a coach react if he saw a basketball player texting while dribbling down the court? That person would be cut immediately, and he would just look like a jerk. One of our Marching Band superlatives this year was “Most likely to be texting during rehearsal”. I feel like that shouldn’t be a thing… People need to understand that it’s okay to turn off your phone sometimes. It’s okay to want to enjoy the task you’re currently present for, or the company you’re with without the need to be (virtually) somewhere else.