Monday, December 18, 2017
Features and More

Column: 8 times you should actually have your phone taken away

Oh, the phone. We use it for so much. For connection. For documentation. For catching up with old friends.

For instance, we were thrilled when Tracy Morgan called us up to chat recently. It has been a long and tumultuous road for the Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star since a 2014 traffic accident put him into a coma.

He's doing much better now, as you'll read in Jay Cridlin's interview. But at Friday's Mahaffey Theater show in St. Petersburg, you won't be able to tweet live dispatches detailing Morgan's fresh glow. That's because you'll have to hand over your cellphone to an attendant, who will lock it in pouch designed by a company called Yondr. You'll keep your phone on you in the locked bag all night, but you won't be able to use it during the show.

PHONE MANIA: Concert crowds full of fans watching through cellphones. Can it be stopped?

As an admitted iPhone junkie, I feel mixed about this approach. I understand that stars want to protect their material, or simply encourage you to enjoy an authentic experience. But there's something satisfying about taking a picture or video to look back on. My hesitation could also be an anxiety reaction, and yes, I will explore this in therapy.

It's a conundrum we're not going to solve here today. But it did seem like a good time to review moments when phones should definitely be locked away. Maybe a new business avenue for Yondr?

Driving.

Obviously. Do we have to go over this again?

When it's 1 a.m. and you really need to sleep but you remember you haven't looked at Instagram all day.

And then you end up scrolling endlessly through your stream because now it's a challenge not to miss a single picture of your co-worker's banh mi or Kylie Jenner's latest lip shot. Help! Now you've been scrolling so long that your eyes have frozen open, like wintry windows. What is the point of life? Oh, look, a baby with a 9 month sticker!

And then you remember Pinterest exists.

You need appetizer ideas for Thanksgiving because your sister steals attention with that pumpkin roll, so just a quick two-hour spin …

After two or more drinks.

And I don't mean apple juice. Although, if it has added sugar and you tend to get weird on sugar, consider a limit for yourself, too.

When someone is trying to have a serious conversation with you.

Or really, any conversation. It's annoying to tell a story while the person on the receiving end is looking at his or her device. It gets even weirder when you're telling him about, say, your grandmother's hip replacement and he randomly chuckles because he's watching a Snapchat of a squirrel surfing.

When you're crossing the street.

It is important to tweet that your favorite shoes need re-heeling, but just wait until you're out of the crosswalk.

Reading to your kid at bedtime.

She wants to hear the ingredients Pete the Cat used to build his awesome sandwich. She doesn't want to hear BuzzFeed's list of 17 times Joey ate lunch meat on Friends.

A first date.

Also known as a last date.

Comments
American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

TAMPAPaul Greenberg and Rick Mijares believe something. They believe that millennials are nostalgic for a time they didn’t live through. American Social, the long-anticipated waterside restaurant adjacent to Jackson’s on Harbour Island, reads like a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 19

Wonderland of Lights: This 32 day event incorporates dozens of animated and still light displays, as well as a Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, the North Pole Express, a petting zoo, holiday mural coloring, games, camel and pony r...
Updated: 3 hours ago
She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

Two days before her 94th birthday, Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested and hauled off to jail.The Eustis woman’s crime?She was being evicted and had fallen behind on her rent, WFTV 9 News reported. Instead of vacating her home at the National Church Resi...
Published: 12/16/17
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a host and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and they de...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/17/17
Festivus 2017: Send us your grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Pour Taproom, a craft beer bar with 85 taps that customers pour their own brew from, will open at noon on Saturday, Dec. 16. The nearly 2,300-square-foot bar at 225 Second Ave. N has undergone extensive renovations, including a St. Petersburg-themed...
Published: 12/15/17
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

LONDON — Kensington Palace says the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be held on May 19. The palace announced the date Friday and confirmed the ceremony will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple announced their...
Published: 12/15/17
Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A half hour to curtain, Al Pitrelli unwinds on a couch in his spartan dressing quarters, fresh off a loading-dock Marlboro. He’s deep inside an arena, about to play the 29th show in the 18th city of the Trans-Siberian ...
Published: 12/15/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 18-24.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 18-24.

Gasparilla Bowl: The postseason college football game at Tropicana Field on Thursday brings Florida International University from Conference USA to play the Temple Owls from the American Athletic Conference. ($40-$80). gasparillabowl.com. The 8 p.m....
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/17/17
Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

The theatrical tour about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. that Tavis Smiley was slated to bring to Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has been canceled in the wake sexual misconduct allegations against the broadcaster.Death...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17