Wednesday, September 21, 2011
So Very Connected to Nothing at All
Wow, this is so depressing.
First, we have a stereotypical twenty-something couple which mysteriously can't even manage to pick out a restaurant unless it can read reviews in the form of floating bubbles on a cell phone. Never mind that the restaurant they are looking for is right. Across. The Street. Hey, it's 2011- can't tie your shoes unless there's an App for it, right?
I don't even want to know what those kids are trying to accomplish as they run through a field with their glowing cell phones in hand. Seems like there is some kind of Locator Device or map on each screen- again, I don't want to know. I guess it's just supposed to remind me of trying to catch fireflies, which I somehow managed to do as a little boy despite my lack of "connectivity" to a "living, breathing machine" (ugh, get the fuck over yourselves please, AT&T.)
The only really familiar scene in this ad is that of the guy walking down the street staring at his phone as the world passes by. I just wish that, every once in while, this scene would conclude with the guy walking into a moving bus. Or a wood chipper. Because admit it, that would be really cool.
The scene in the ambulance, where the patient who has obviously just been in a terrible accident is locked into a stretcher, in a neck brace....and is being reassured by the floating head of a doctor which appears on the paramedic's cell phone (the paramedic must be thinking "I went to medical school to do this? To hold a phone over somebody's head? Really?") Or maybe he's not a paramedic at all- maybe we don't need paramedics in ambulances any more, because now we can have doctors "face to face" with patients thanks to the miracle of cell phone technology. Maybe we just need people capable of holding the phone above the patient's head.
And speaking of "face to face," I can't tell you how much I loathe the "stay connected with your family" theme illustrated in the final scene, where a woman's self-satisfied smile as she talks to her kid (she can SEE him, which is just as good as being there, if not better!) puts just the right touch of hate into the ad's conclusion. Son is doing fine without mommy, because he's not really without mommy, because hey there's her face on his phone. Carry on with your life, mommy! Son is just a phone call away- a phone call made possible by the "living, breathing machine" which is The Network.
AT&T's nonstop campaign to get us to Stop Looking Up And Actually Talking To People Ever is, in my humble opinion, nothing less than a war on society. One that AT&T is winning, with the help of a population of overgrown, spoiled children determined to find comfort and guidance in little glowing boxes.*
*I give the woman with the e-book a pass. E-books are not stupid, pointless little toys. They are books. There's a difference.