LOCAL NEWS

Increasing number of entertainers, teachers put phones on lockdown

May 15, 2018, 11:07 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Concert venues and comedy clubs have been overwhelmed for years by a sea of smartphones, and classrooms have been battling against the constant distraction.

Increasingly, however, teachers and entertainers have been resorting to “bagging” the phones — entirely and literally — and the trend has extended into Utah.

Yondr creates sets of lockable pouches designed to block cell phone use during class time and show time.

“It’s less about the product for us and it’s more about the movement — which maybe it’s part of a movement for people to spend less time living in front of a screen,” Yondr founder Graham Dugoni said by phone. “It seems to help with whatever elements of the modern condition are making some people not feel so good.”

The product has been adopted by artists, like comedian Dave Chappelle, and musician Jack White, who is slated to appear at Saltair on Aug. 9.

Yondr and Utah

At Brighton High School, advanced placement human geography teacher Monta Thomas saved up to purchase a classroom set.

“Once they close it, it’s locked,” Thomas said. “They put their bag back on the desk and they’re good to go.”

Thomas said the Yondr pouches — which came with a price tag of roughly $700 and included an unlocking station — have already paid dividends.

“(There is) definitely more engagement when you take away that distraction of the phone,” Thomas said. “(It was) well worth it!”

Others, with larger venues, are taking a look at the product with price in mind.

Wiseguys Comedy Club owner Keith Stubbs said it would likely cost him thousands of dollars to deploy Yondr sets at his venues.

He said he has considered making the purchase because distracted audiences have become a huge issue for many entertainers.

“I know it’s aggravating for a singer, but I think it’s more distracting for a comedian,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs said phones can also be problematic when audiences post material to social media that comedians deem not ready for widespread public consumption.

It can also cost them revenue, Stubbs said.

“They say, ‘Look, I’m working on this material, this is my material, and I don’t need it on YouTube before the joke is done,” he said.

Security

Audience members at a recent show at Wiseguys seemed resolute about the annoyance of phones held high during performances, but some expressed reservations about the idea of going phone-free by force.

“To not be able to be reached in case of emergency, I think, is a big issue,” Jessi Ross said.

Dugoni said the company had contemplated the potential impact on security plans at venues “a lot.”

“In case of emergency, the first thing everyone will tell you — and this is in all protocols — is to exit first, so everyone exits and then there are places to unlock cases outside the venue,” Dugoni said.

Effects

Avery Holton, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah, said the product could lead to smart phone and social media “withdrawal.”

“What that really does for a lot of people is create more anxiety,” Holton said.

Holton said children might be the ones most deeply impacted.

“These are people that were born basically with a cell phone in their hands, and that’s how they negotiate life and spaces,” he said.

Still, Holton said he also saw potential value in Yondr and other products like it.

“Having a space where we can really, sort of turn that off and focus on a project and focus on each other—I think it’s interesting,” Holton said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

The Tabernacle choir performed for an audience of over 9,000 for a memorable night in Manila.

21 minutes ago

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her...

Shara Park

Sandy police seeking help in locating vehicle involved in a hit-and-run

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her teenage daughter to the hospital.

2 hours ago

Keith Sorenson opens a tool shed to display the tools of the trade. (Stuart Johnson, KSL News)...

Alex Cabrero

Taylorsville heritage center reclaims stolen historic anvils

A pair of historically-significant anvils were finally returned to Taylorsville after being stolen two years ago.

2 hours ago

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 76-year-old Joe Vakuata. (Herriman ...

Mark Jones

UPDATE: Herriman police find missing 76-year-old man safe

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing 76-year-old man.

2 hours ago

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour" in Nashville, Tenn., May 5, 2023.  (AP Photo, G...

Sam Herrera, KSLNewsRadio and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

Weber State University is offering a new course all about Taylor Swift, and students wasted no time signing up.

3 hours ago

A massive house fire in Orem, Utah is under investigation for the cause of the fire, which firefigh...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Investigators seeking more DNA evidence in massive Orem house arson case

Orem police investigating the massive house fire have requested to go back into the house to collect DNA evidence.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Increasing number of entertainers, teachers put phones on lockdown