No, my phone doesn't have the battery life (or Apps, or streaming video, etc.) which would allow me to hypnotize my kids into staring at it on a rainy day in the woods. That means I'd have to talk to them, tell them stories, or demonstrate the amazing fact that water is not deadly poison and we can actually walk around in it without dying. No, my phone will not allow me to bleat "Call Cab 4 Me" as I walk out of a store. That means I'd have to actually lift one of my arms to signal for a cab. Or take a bus. Seriously, I wonder how I've managed to survive this long. No, my phone will not bleat Meter By Meter directions as I drive down the highway. That means I have to pay attention to the road, checking those helpful (retrograde, Pre-Droid) signs to determine where my exit is. Or I could just do what I do now- leave my (also retrograde, Pre-Droid) Garmin GPS on.
No, I do not own a Droid Razr or whatever this Tool for Stunningly Helpless People is called. Which means that I actually have to do very basic, elementary things all by my little self. Until I saw this commercial, I had no idea how amazingly difficult those very basic, elementary things really were. I mean, check out these apparently functional people- they look like they would just crawl under a rock and die if they had to do anything more complicated than blow their nose without consulting their shiny, brilliant little friends.
In the breakroom the other day, I heard two math teachers discussing the problem created by eighth-graders armed with calculators: More and more often, the teachers discover that these students can't work out the simplest equations unless they have one at the ready. Their brains are simply not being trained to do anything other than punch the buttons corresponding with the numbers in the equation, letting the calculator do all the real work. Why does 171+133= 304? Because the screen says so. How did it come up with that result? Who cares?
All of these commercials for "Let Us Help You With That" Droids, SmartPhones (thank goodness the phones are Smart- they'll need to be, as our brains atrophy into pudding) encourage us to stop trying to think through or do anything ourselves. Don't look around for a cab, just bleat into this. Don't look up information up or start a conversation- just consult Ask.com. Don't think- let that thing in your hand do your thinking for you. How this results in anything other than a shamefully helpless population of Weebles (except that when we Wobble, we'll fall down- and ask our phones for detailed directions on how to get up again) escapes me. How this in any way represents "progress" is way beyond my feeble grasp. And I can't even ask my phone to explain it to me.