Word on the street
What it means:You’re at the theatre, enjoying the latest revival of The Playboy of the Western World. The reason you’re enjoying it? The management are letting you use your mobile phone during the performance. You’ve spent the entire play tweeting updates about the action onstage: “Old Mahon has just burst in – Christy’s on the ground – all hell’s broken loose – LOL.” Welcome to the tweet seats, a section set aside for theatre-goers who want to tweet their impressions of the play. Rather like the old smoking sections, tweet seats allow people to indulge their social media addiction without disturbing other patrons. Several US theatre productions have set aside tweet seats in a bid to attract younger, tech-savvy audiences, and in the hope of grabbing free online publicity for their show.
Where it comes from:Most theatres and cinemas urge their patrons to switch off their mobile phones in the auditorium, but nobody turns off their smart phones these days – it would be like trying to hold your breath for two hours. Tweet seats are an attempt to turn a nuisance into a useful promotional tool. Earlier this year, the producers of Godspell on Broadway staged a “tweet seat” night, giving free tickets to fans, and encouraging them to live tweet during the performance.
How to say it: “In #tweet seat @ Waiting for Godot – still no sign of him wtf?!”