I think it's more to do with feeling part of the "group" - earlier this week I went to the dress rehearsal of I Fagiolini's new Gesualdo theatre piece Betrayal and rather than being on the younger side of most of the audience, as is usually the case, I felt decidedly ancient.
I found an interesting article recently from the Washington Post which you can read here.
"Thou shalt not talk. Thou shalt not clap in the wrong places. Thou shalt not unwrap cough drops in crinkly paper during the music. Thou shalt not use thy cellphone.
You can find the prohibitions, in various forms, printed in the back pages of concert playbills around the country, often under rubrics such as “The Ten Commandments of Concertgoing.” They’re supposed to be funny, but they’re also supposed to be followed. Disguised as humor, they are actually propagating a widespread and pernicious idea: that the performing arts in general, and classical music in particular, require specialized knowledge and a particular code of behavior — a code in which, if you don’t know it, those who do will be all too happy to instruct you.
And thus the future of our field rides in disproportionate part on questions of etiquette."
As Anne Midgette says, it's easy to have double standards - I remember years ago being annoyed by the loud ticking of someone's watch in the middle of a particularly quiet piece...yet when recently my friend was chastised by a fellow audience member for wearing noisy bracelets I felt insulted on her behalf.
But we can't underestimate people's capacity for concentration and enjoyment - I took my daughter to a performance of Messiaen's Turangalila at the Proms and she told me off for checking between movements that she wasn't too bored...she loved it and enjoyed it much more than I did.
Annette Midgette again: "Concert-hall rules are born of a well-meaning, even poignant hope: that someone else can have the same reaction that we do to something we love. It’s a hope that’s eternally doomed to disappointment, since each person’s experience is by definition individual, personal, indescribable and unrepeatable. And in trying to realize the hope, people often forget the basic human truth that if you’re trying to win someone over to something you love, it helps to approach her not as a child, but as an equal.
The conventions of concert behavior are bound to evolve in the coming years. It would be great to juxtapose the formality of orchestra presentation with some concerts that are less formal; it would be great to work out a way to include and contain the smartphone, perhaps by setting aside designated areas for its use, like the score-reading seats, with their illuminated music stands, that are a feature of many great old concert halls. But one rule should be writ large atop all guidelines for concert-hall behavior. It’s a basic principle, in fact, of any form of etiquette: Thou shalt not impose thy beliefs on someone else."