Saturday, September 22, 2012

This will bring your family "closer." Sure. Sure it will, AT&T

I've seen this commercial two dozen times, at least. I get that Mom has a Smartphone, Daughter has a Smartphone, Son has a Smartphone, and Dad has a tablet- in other words, I get that this is Over-Indulged Suburban Family Model 46-D and its spent several thousand dollars on disposable electronic junk which will be deemed "obsolete" by each member of the family inside of six months. I get that after spending all this money on these stupid gadgets, the "parents" of the family need to rationalize the ridiculous expenditure. And I get that right now, there are kids out there trying to get their parents to accept the idea that there is some value to be drawn from maxing out the credit card buying this crap to keep them happy for-- well, like I said, about six months.

Here's what I DON'T get, no matter HOW many times I see this commercial. I don't get how ANY of this junk makes the life of a family "easier." My parents had FIVE kids. Five kids, and not a single cell phone, SmartPhone, I Phone, or Tablet. Somehow we managed to find each other when it was time for dinner, time for a picnic, or just Family Time. Without any of that mechanical crap. Oh, and we managed to Share. Without buttons, glowing screens, or electronic "connectivity." We were so amazing, and we didn't even know it.

The really laughable part of this ad, like all the other "Share Everything" ads featuring parents and their children, and the part which I'm sure has kids stifling giggles all over the USA whenever it appears on TV, is the idea that what teenaged kids really want out of all this electronic garbage is a way to "connect" more easily to their parents. "See, mom, if I had a SmartPhone, we'd talk more! I could share photos with you! And you'd be able to let me know when I needed to get home!" Yeah, RIGHT!!!

Hey, Idiot Parents who at least need to be sold on the idea of breaking the bank on disposable beeping devices rather than automatically shelling out when Son and Daughter yell "JUMP!"-- when your wonderful kids show you this commercial, and then try to use the arguments I just summarized, they are playing you like a violin. They don't want SmartPhones so they can keep in touch with Mom and Dad, trust me. They want to download and watch TV and deepen their addiction to Facebook. But don't take my word for it. Go ahead and indulge them some more, while indulging YOURSELF in the fantasy that you are just a few major purchases away from knitting what you thought was supposed to be a family back together through the miracle of Connectivity. My guess is that you'll figure out your mistake about 72 hours later, and respond by purchasing the Unlimited Data Plan.


  1. Another GENIUS post, John.

    I see it all around me, the lost remains of what was such a GREAT society. Everyone cared for one another. Communities were stronger than Fort Knox. Families actually COMMUNICATED with one another sans Smartphones, and Tablets. Now, NOTHING. You can hear a pin drop fall in most rooms or common areas. Texting, IMing, and Fakebook have RUINED society to the point of no return. There is NO returning from this, John. We are officially on our own. Society is TOO far into a slumber to be resuscitated. The only friends I do have are my GF, and a couple of acquaintances who haven't been bitten by the technology bug. I treasure them with all my heart because I know just how STRONG of a grip technology has on peoples' LIVES.

    It's really nice to know, I have a friend out there somewhere in the world who DESPISES the new "tech" as much as I do.

    Cheers, John.

    1. I wonder how people meet each other these days every time I get on a train and see myself surrounded by techno-addled zombies.

      When I was in college, I met a girl on an Amtrak train while on a 13-hour trip from DC to Vermont for the holidays. We talked for hours, and ended up exchanging addresses and phone numbers. I never saw her again, but we corresponded for years. I wonder if that kind of thing ever happens these days- after all, it would require making eye contact, which in turn requires that people look up every once in a while.