“Terrible Tuesday” – Etiquette for Teenagers

The following article is from the latest issue of Panache Magazine.

My husband and I recently went to the movies on a Friday night to see the PG-13 movie, The Unborn, and, as could be expected, most of the other movie-goers that night were teenagers.  I am guessing most of them were between the ages of thirteen and sixteen.  Now, I know that “teenagers will be teenagers” but what we experienced during and after the movie that night concerned me enough to write this article.  If you are a parent of a teenager, or better yet, if you are a parent of any age child, please let them read this article. 


Knowing and displaying proper etiquette is an essential part of actually having a business and social life.  It is a proven fact that image is everything and you make a first impression in seven seconds!  Displaying proper etiquette is imperative to displaying a good image and acing that first impression! 


One of the places a first impression is made is in a movie theater.  Below are tips on the proper way to act in a theater or performing arts center:


ü      If you are attending a play or a symphony concert, dress appropriately.  You should dress nicely, not sloppily or too revealing.  In a movie theater you have a little more leeway to dress down, but please still wear clothing that fits properly.

ü      When entering a row of seats you should say “excuse me” and walk slowly and carefully, so you don’t step on anyone’s feet, while facing the screen or the stage.  Never face the person sitting down.

ü      When the movie starts keep talking to a minimum or better yet, save your conversations until after the movie has ended.

ü      Turn off your cell phones completely!  Just because they are on silent doesn’t mean that you are following the rules of etiquette.  You should never talk on your phone during a movie and you should never text during the movie.  The blue screen causes distractions to the other movie-goers.

ü      NEVER throw popcorn at someone you know that is sitting below or above you in the theater.  You are not Kobe Bryant and that means that you will miss your target and hit someone else! 

ü      Try to keep the packaging of your treats silent.  It’s best if you open your bag of Sour Patch Kids before the movie starts so you will not disturb the person sitting next to you. 

ü      If you have to blow your nose, burp, pass gas, or any other bodily function please go to the bathroom.  The people next to you would much rather you disturb them by walking in front of them than have to endure whatever bodily function needs to occur. 

ü      When the movie has ended wait your turn to exit your row and the theater.  Don’t hop over seats or break in line.  It is also a good idea to let your date, if you have one, go ahead of you once you have exited your row and are in the aisle. 

ü      Last, but not least, hold the theater doors for the person behind you.



Trust me.  Following the simple rules of etiquette will get your further in life than acting like a heathen. 




 Erin Sharplin Love


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