I had mentioned I’d write about the phone issue a while ago. Now that it’s raining and my walk is being delayed I’ll jump in with the story.

Dan and I were attending a San Francisco Symphony concert a few weeks back. What a bizarre concert it was! The performance began with Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and even over fifty years later someone has to yell “Stop” or some such then, and then go on asking “Why are you doing this?” Really? But oh well … she wanted to ruin things for everyone else, I guess. I wish she’d have stayed home.

But then things went from bad to worse. At least for me.

At one point phones started going off. Mostly vibrating, but we can hear that! It was quite aggravating. And it happened more than once.

I know people think “Turn your phones off,” means “If you think of it and are considerate perhaps you could at least put your phone on vibrate” or some such thing. Trust me, vibrate isn’t silent! Turn the darn things off. Or at least do airplane mode.

Turned out that there was an Amber alert. Those things can be quite jarring! I actually deactivated those alerts completely a while back, after being scared to death by the blaring sound it made the first time. If I’m in a concert I’m not able to do anything anyway. The same goes for any emergency. It’s not like I can say, “Oh sorry folks, I’m going to skip playing the rest of the opera because I see an alert here.” Nope. It can wait the few hours it needs to wait.

In the second half ANOTHER phone went off. It wasn’t an Amber alert. It was just an “I’m a very annoying concert goer and I left my phone on,” alert. Sigh.

Second story (although I’ve since fixed this issue):
I was teaching and when I do that my phone is used as a clock. It’s on silent so I won’t hear a ring and I have vibrate deactivated as well. As I was teaching one day I was singing (my poor students occasionally have to hear me do that!) and suddenly Siri pipes in and starts to answer a question. I had NOT pushed the button to activate her. I had NOT said, “Hey Siri…” But she thought I had, as you can see by what appeared on my phone:

Yep, she thought I asked, “what Summer that is” … whatever that means.

I learned that one needs to deactivate the voice-activated “Hey Siri” option. Done. I can continue to use the phone as a clock (aimed in a way so that students can’t see … I’m mean that way.)

Still, for concerts, I highly recommend you turn your phones off. Other audience members will thank you, as will the performers.