Friday, December 2, 2011
Am I just the Savage who refuses to take his Soma like a good boy?
Here's a woman whose entire "life" consists of playing with her cell phone. And I mean her ENTIRE life- from the moment she wakes, she's on that phone, transmitting "data" (that's an important-sounding word which now generally means nothing more than sending people "LOL" and "N PRK NOW SO BORED U?" messages,) watching movies, and "downloading an App....and another App...and another App...." (The narrator uses the term "status updates," which I think is just hilarious, since the only thing this woman needs to "update" concerning her "status" is where she is currently wasting her "life" staring at her freaking phone.)
And this is just how far we've gone as a nation in our goal to achieve a total state of societal torpor- not only is what this woman is "doing" described as normal ("you'd be shocked at how much data you use in a month..") but any problems she may seem to have to us sane, not-as-yet-assimilated humans (disconnectedness, addiction, severe crick in neck, eye strain) are presented as perfectly solvable- with Unlimited Data.
Oh, thank goodness- because for a very brief moment at the very end of this ad, it does appear as if this woman is actually going to have to try to find something to do other than play with her electronic security blanket. She proves her ability to Look Up. But the look on her face is really more than a little depressing- she's not noticing the rest of the world for the first time that day. Instead, she seems to be in quiet, brief reflection of the Wonder that is Unlimited Data. VERY brief, because now it's back to that phone. And downloading another App.
This is a picture of the world as our wonderful cell phone companies would like it to be- and as it's rapidly becoming. Everyone sitting or walking or (more and more frequently) driving around in their own little worlds, their electronic cocoons, pretending that they are somehow staying in contact with the Great Big World out there through their manipulation of tiny glowing screens (and Apps.) I feel more and more like a voice in the wilderness here, but help me understand- why would anyone want to live like this? When are we going to have an Emperor Has No Clothes moment with these damn things?