October 17, 2019
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  • 3:28 pm Enrollment, Part one: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
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  • 6:45 pm California Makes Big Stand Against NCAA
  • 6:11 pm The Lightning Rod: Rivers, Chargers Drop Third Straight Home Game
Story tips, concerns, questions?

By Victor Munoz
Sports Editor

I would think that if you paid $100 or more to attend a live event that the idea is to immerse yourself in the moment and have a communal, connected experience with the athlete or artists, and fellow spectators.

So why is it that so many fans these days attend events and disconnect from the live experience in front of them for a digital experience on their phones?

I go to live sporting events frequently. And I am continually shocked how, when I look out at the crowd, as many people are staring at their phones or taking selfies than are watching the game. Sure, people can choose to spend their time however they want, but at what point does their self-absorbed experience dilute that of the engaged fan and the athlete or performer?

In an informal 100-person survey I took, 78% of people admitted they had used their phones during a live event. And don’t think player’s notice. If a player looks up at the fans, they’re not seeing lips moving in support or disapproval, but a phone blocking those lips.  I am not a professional athlete but that seems less motivating than seeing a stadium full of expressive faces.

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto alluded to the connection of fans to players after the team’s 2019 home opener.  Speaking in Spanish, he said the fan support is important and that their electricity supplies a great part of his team’s rhythm. If half the stadium is glued to their hand-held devices, how are athletes’ performances affected, and how much of the experience of fans who are locked into every moment is diminished?

It seems increasingly that many fans are more concerned with recording possible key plays than truly fixated on the outcome and the drama playing out before them. We’re more likely to see fans clicking their screens to get the best possible footage rather than biting their nails, praying, or standing the entire game out of nervousness.

CSUDH biology major Christopher Flores is one fan who admits that recording does take away from the live experience, but he stressed that he does it for the memories and to show to friends and family.

I get that, but is a fan’s personal experience more important than the connected experience of collectively sharing the theatrics of a game? Is it worth missing the full fan experience for a zoomed out or blurry video? Is it worth missing the opportunity to scream goal the second the ball crosses the line or the second the artists says “un saludo a mi gente de Michoacán (greetings to my people of Michoacán).”

“If [the video] is blurry or zoomed out, then it’s really not worth it,” said senior Jackie Rojas, a child development major. “Not only is the fan live experience lost, but there is no clear memory of the event either.” 

But while I might go easy on those fans who are using their smartphones to capture a moment in the game, I have no tolerance for those who miss a goal, a big save or another big moment, because they’re checking social media feeds or responding to a text that is anything but urgent.

And I’m not the only one.

“[In today’s games] how many people do you see texting instead of watching the game? So annoying,” said Linda Pickle, original supporter of the Galaxy since 1994.  “[Like come on] there is something big going on in front of you.”

It is also a safety issue. Imagine being at a Dodger or Kings game, and you’re so intent on checking in on Instagram that a foul ball or errant shot smacks you in the face. And let’s not even talk about even worse trauma: dropping your cell phone into your beer!

Maybe we should add an old-fashioned sports incentive to the plague of distracted fans: gambling. My friends have a running bet with each other that whoever touches their phone first during the event buys lunch.

But I’m not stupid. Smartphones are now a fifth limb for most of us and from ordering food from our seats with them, to being able to access instant replays on a website that aren’t even being shown on the Jumbotron, they’re not going away–even if some performers, such as comedian Chris Rock and the rock band Guns n Roses, according to a New York Times article in 2016, have began using technology such as Yondr, which requires spectators to put their phone in a lockable pouch that prevents them from texting or shooting video while in the arena.

I don’t need something like that. I’ve got my dad’s voice continually in my head; anytime I was on my phone while watching a game on TV he would scream, “lo estas viendo o estas en el teléfono (are you watching it or are you on your phone?)

I couldn’t imagine what he would say if he saw me doing that a game I paid $100 to watch live.

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