I Phone with TwitterOn Sunday, March 19, I attended an improv show presented by Lindenwood University’s Nick of Time Players. I live blogged the event using my cell phone and Twitter.

Technical Problems

I’m a little behind on technology. My family has never been tech-savy, and while I would love to have the latest gadgets, I have not job to pay for them. My cell phone does have basic mobile internet but when I tried tweeting from it the day before, it crashed and I had to remove the battery to be able to get my phone to work again.

I brought my 5-year-old laptop to the event instead but it’s performance has been degrading over the years. I had forgotten that for some reason my computer no longer can read JavaScript, so I was unable to log onto Twitter. With the show starting in five minutes, I desperately tried my cell phone again and was able to find a way to get Twitter on my phone without causing problems. (My phone did crash a couple of times during the show, but I was able to fix it.)

So my first lesson concerning live blogging is it’s important to have the latest technology for things to go smoothly.

My Experience

Though I think live blogging has its place as an effective breaking news reporting tool, it is not appropriate for all events.

First of all, I felt disrespectful throughout the entire performance. Though I cleared it with one of the members first, I still got several dirty looks from fellow audience members. I tried to be discrete by sitting in the far back corner, but I still drew attention to myself by being the only one not looking at the stage most of the time. People probably thought I was texting which has long been considered rude during performances.

Secondly, I’m fairly sure I missed at least a third of the performance. I hardly had time to even look at the stage. Many times I would be composing a tweet when the audience would explode with laughter. I’d look up from my phone and have no idea what was going on. Since I was the only one not laughing, it furthered people’s opinion that I was not paying attention (which I wasn’t entirely.)

That made me think about reporters and congressmen who tweet during a speech. If I missed funny phrases while tweeting during the improv show, surely reporters miss out on things said during a speech that could add context to what is being said. The reporter could finish a tweet, hear the last part of a sentence and tweet that, but if the meaning of that sentence is changed by the first part that the reporter didn’t hear while he was tweeting, the quote can be taken out of context.

Like I said before, some events call for a person’s undivided attention. Getting the whole story is important before making the information public. Though live blogging can be useful in certain situations, sometimes it’s best to keep your phone in your pocket.