Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's Big Thing, Tomorrow's Lame, Out-of-Date Junk. Get used to it.


Once upon a time, cell phone commercials were aimed at people who did not already own cell phones- people like me, who were clinging to land lines like security blankets, and simply would not assimilate into the world of walking and talking and texting and talking and texting.

Those days are long, long gone.  For many years now, cell phone commercials have been aimed at people who ALREADY own cell phones, and are designed to convince these people that the phone they were told (by television commercials) was absolutely State of the Art and Uber-Awesome six months ago is now a retro, lame piece of crap that causes you to show badly to your friends and leaves you out of the "fun" that can be yours if only you Upgrade.

It's All About The Upgrade now.  By the time you get your new phone out of the box, there's another, slightly better model being put on display in the store you just left which renders yours Ok for Now but Just Slightly Behind the Curve.  This kind of thing- buying expensive technology which stays fresh only slightly longer than that quart of milk in the fridge- used to annoy people.  It wasn't all that long ago that a rather large population of idiots threw a hissy fit when Apple dropped the price of one of it's phones five minutes after that rather large population of idiots had handed the company their paychecks to Get It First.  I doubt that would happen today- more and more people seem to accept constant "Upgrades" as par for the course, even though it means that they are ALWAYS one step behind---well, somebody.

Of course, the makers of these things has the answer for you- just keep trading in your "old" phone for the Latest Thing.  Constantly.  Sure, it means Upgrade charges (that's the idea.)  Sure, it's just another spin on the hamster wheel called Keeping Up With The Herd.   Sure, it means landfills stuffed with "old" phones, seeping mercury into the aquifer.  But check out the slightly faster downloads, the slightly clearer screen, and the latest bell or whistle (they seem to be added One Upgrade at a Time.  They are on to their public- no more "big" changes, just tiny, subtle tweaks- more than enough, they've figured out.)

Or, just stick with your "old" phone- and be mocked by your Way Cooler Soon To Be Ex Friends.  Your choice.  Loser.

Last week, my little Nokia died.  I replaced it with something called an LG Expression.  I imagine that if I did a little research, I'd find that my new acquisition was the "It" phone for two weeks in February, 2011.  I'm not what Samsung or AT&T or Apple would call a Model Customer- but I'm getting there, right?

(Oh, and to this commercial- where is this woman hiding during the wedding and reception, where she's missing all this stuff?  Could she let me in on her trick, because whenever I have to attend one of these affairs, I'm always trying to find a place to hide until the whole horrible ordeal is over.

-Not to mention- is this what happens at receptions these days?  People take pictures nonstop and then look at them on their phones?

Oh, and-- "I get all my friends' pics as soon as they take them?"  This is something I should want?  Really?)


  1. What really gets me about this commercial is that having the newer phone had nothing to do with what was being shared. You still had to be in the right place at the right time to catch what you took a picture of, and I'm pretty sure that people who weren't doing the insanely rude gesture of having their eyes glued to their phones during a frigging WEDDING would be the ones to miss out on stuff like that.

    There is a commercial for a phone that I've seen lately, where some young hipster douche is walking down the road while all manner of disasters, accidents, and major events happen all around him. While this was meant to display all the things he is watching on the phone, I would be more than willing to believe that all that stuff could really be happening around him, and he would be completely oblivious to it because he can't pry himself away from his screen to glance at the real world once every few seconds.

    1. I've snarked on that ad- the guy is listening to his "music" and gazing at his screen as the world explodes around him, eventually muttering something like "yo on my way" into the phone. There's another ad where a guy takes a picture of his dog, then while he's slobbering all over the photo his dog continues to do "amazing" things- unnoticed by the owner. Which actually sets up a pretty good tagline- "Buy this Phone, and Imagine all the stuff you'll miss while looking at it."

    2. Actually, that's a different commercial than the one I'm thinking of, which is especially sad, since that means there's more than one of them. It came out maybe a couple weeks ago at the latest. It has some guy with glasses, a short hipster-perm hairdo, and a blue striped shirt. As he walks, there is a huge building fire, plane crashes, and such going on around him. I tried to find it on YouTube, but had no luck.

  2. Excellent points. For this commercial to be accurate, it means that everyone at the wedding and reception is doing basically nothing but taking pictures and "sharing" them. Wow, what joy for the bride and groom, who thought they would be sharing this special day with their friends but instead find those friends doing nothing but playing with their phones.

    Also, in what alternate universe are the people who aren't actually getting married THIS excited about a wedding and reception? What kind of crap lives do these people have, where they are in a constant state of giddyness over this happening and that happening and Look At the Photo I Took? Or is it that what they are so damned thrilled over is their phones and the Amazing Things They Can Do?

    1. I should think the latter. It's like all those ads that used to have people cavorting around about a can of soda. In real life, they'd drink it and eventually make a deposit at the bank (so to speak) and forget all about it. Here, the wonder device will be traded in for a new wonder device in six months time.

    2. "Everyone's taking pictures like they're Paparazzi!" You know, I almost feel bad for anyone under the age of fifty who gets married these days, if this is at all typical. I remember walking around during the reception shaking hands and having conversations with the guests. What happens today? Two hundred people taking pictures and checking their Facebook page and the scores on their phones?