In every movie theater, before the movie starts, there is always a short video that plays, kindly requesting that the audience turn off their mobile phones during the movie. Since sound and light emitted from a mobile phone may disturb other audience members, people are recommended to keep their phone usage to a minimum while they are watching a movie in theaters.
However, this elementary rule doesn’t seem to be kept well in the theaters in Korea. Here a mobile phone rings or vibrates very often. There are also some people who make phone calls or take pictures of either themselves or the movie while the movie is playing. Due to this consistent public discourtesy happening in Korea, a new word was coined. People started to call the rude mobile phone users “Phone-dit-bul-yi”, which is a word comparing phone users to fireflies that light up a whole theater.
Munsun Kim, a 10th grade movie enthusiast, said that he sees people using their mobile phones during a movie almost every time he visits a theater. He showed his frustration about it, explaining that he thinks that many people think their private life should be prioritised over public etiquette. Min Kim, a 10th grade student who revealed he has used his mobile phone while watching a movie, said, “I know it is wrong and I shouldn’t do it” but sometimes he feels as if he needs to and “adjust[s] the brightness and volume of his phone.”
As many people might not be fully aware of the seriousness of phone use in public places, an effective solution for this such as stricter regulations should be seeked in order to foster a better environment and atmosphere.