Saturday, August 9, 2014
Buy this and never, ever have a conversation about anything ever again
I can kind of understand why the doofus kid pops in to interrupt a pretty stupid argument between two total strangers rather inexplicably watching a PG-13-rated movie on a huge screen at an airport. I mean, the two guys here are being pretty obnoxious and like I said it's a stupid argument- who gives a flying damn which lousy X-Men movie it is? Aren't they all interchangeable anyway?
Still, I can't help wondering why this kid, who looks like he's about eight years old, has this expensive tricked-out phone. And where the hell are his parents? And who is the other kid- his sister? Or another total stranger who also wasn't taught not to talk to people you don't know and who also doesn't have parents?
And when was it decided that technology should be geared toward nipping all questions and arguments and other conversations in the bud as rapidly as possible? No one need have a discussion concerning any matter of trivia or history or music or movies or ANYTHING because hey, let's just ask our freaking know it all phones. So much for conversation starters- these phones are conversation MURDERERS. Don't argue. Don't debate. Just Get The Answer and go back to being socially isolated nitwits with fancy phones. Ugh.
This commercial struck a particular nerve with me because it reminded me of one of the sweetest experiences of my life. Since this is my blog, I'll share: In 1984, I was taking Amtrak back to Vermont from college for Christmas vacation. A very pretty girl sat down next to me and asked if she could listen to my Walkman, since her batteries were dead. She listened to my music and we struck up a conversation which lasted about six hours (eventually the batteries on my Walkman went dead, too.) We didn't have any Smartphones (or phones at all) or Tablets anything else to create bubbles around each other, so we talked and talked. She fell asleep for a while on my shoulder, which was also really nice.
When the train approached my stop in Montpelier we exchanged addresses (she was a citizen of Columbia living in Canada) and said goodbye. We wrote for years but I never saw her again, but I'll never forget that train ride- and I'm convinced that the meeting and conversation would not have happened today, as one or both of us would have been in our electronic cocoons, with no need to seek companionship outside our own little digitial worlds.
Someone explain to me why this technology is necessary, or even a welcome luxury. Someone explain to me why anyone would run out and buy this because it features an app which identifies the film you are watching so you can more quickly stop talking to a fellow humanoid life form. On second thought, I take it back- don't try to explain any of this to me. It's just too damned depressing.