half man half samsung
i watched an interesting video presentation last night. it was about a flexible screen that samsung is developing. the technology itself is very fascinating, but what really caught my attention was a commercial-type video that samsung displayed that presented a social situation in which a guy attracts a woman with his flexible screen.
it goes a little bit like this:
setting’s at a coffee shop.. there’s two guys and a girl sitting at a table. then one of the guys is about to leave the table and as he gathers his things, he very conspicuously folds his phone in two (the samsung phone/tablet/wallet/identity patch) in front of the girl so as to regale her with his gadget. the girl responds to it, and in a very cheap, vapid and banal sequence, she gives the guy her phone number.
better yet, and even more trite, this whole surreal act leads the second guy at the table to become jealous to the point of making a fool of himself.
now, something very interesting happens here.. the commercial goes so far as to display the second guy as an insecure dipstick… which i find paradoxical and ironic.
i’ll get to that in a minute.
my dad has a land rover defender… it’s a big car that constantly looks like it came back from lion hunting… by itself.
and people notice the car because it’s exotic and powerful.
one day i picked up a friend in this car, and as we were driving he began to tell me how he would always get a rush from people looking at his car… how whenever he was driving a nice car, he loved the attention he got from the people that noticed him, or it…
i couldn’t relate to what he was saying back then, because i know squat about cars and to me they’ve always been things that just get you back and forth… and i know a lot of guys would get ticked off at what i just said, which is exactly the point i’m getting at.
we’re living in the postindustrial era. times in which the mass production of products is lessened and information, data, services and research are of more relevance to society.
a few products have escaped the perils of postindustrialism. namely, smartphones.
it is precisely because smartphones extend us the ability to access incredible amounts of information, data, services, etc.
we have made incredible intellectual progress by possessing this gate into transporting and communicating information.
but it’s done something else to us..
smartphones have somehow changed the way we feel about ourselves..
in some morbid, cronenbergian manner we have metaphysically assimilated, consumed and absorbed our smartphones into ourselves emotionally.
considering the immense power that a smartphone has to offer, it makes sense that we now hide behind our phones
how many times have you heard “i feel naked without my phone..”?
as if our phones are now an integral part of who we are as human beings.. being made up of body, soul, spirit and smartphone.
we feel that we’ve somehow improved with them… that we are better people with them.. more attractive??
smartphones have becomes the standard façade of the postmodern era.
a tech-façade in which we tell people we are smart, modern, worthwhile and interesting if they could just look at us through the screen of our smartphones…
even further, the phones we choose somehow reflect who we think we are, who we tell ourselves that we are and who we want to be..
we are constantly feeling our phones with our senses.. we touch them we see into them, we hear them and can even smell them.. phones are very tactile objects that we have with us at all times, we’ve gone beyond a connection to our phone into a state in which we ingest them into our identity.
and this, at its most morbid, sates that our phones fill a void that we feel inside of us.
we are insecure about our bodies so we can’t talk to the girl at the coffee shop, but our phone can…
we feel socially awkward in person, but our phones give us the opportunity of being who we really want to be..
we feel unsure of who we are.. so we take up the concept of our phones and make it a part of the self.
this applies to all belongings that we have that make us feel (w)hole.
and it is sad..
i won’t end with a hopeful message because if you feel like you do this, then you know what to do..
but i would like to end saying one last thing, and i hope this doesn’t make me sound like a humanist, because i’m not.
do we also hide behind god?
do we enter into denial about the chaos of human existence with blaming it on the pre-planned cosmic works of god?
do we feel weak, ugly, sad, insecure, scared and bored and use god as a scapegoat into feeling strong, beautiful, happy, secure and entertained if at all possible anyway??
..is this right?
sometimes it’s not enough to say “i’m sure god is behind all this pain.. it’s all part of his plan..”
sometimes, we are left speechless and empty handed in the face of our own disaster..
sometimes the sovereignty of god seems not to be enough..
is it possible that in the cross, it is not the human god that died, but the cosmic god who is in control of all?
is it possible that the death of the cross is perhaps the most powerful symbol in history of the trust that god has in us to become who we were meant to be?
is it possible that we can slowly become who we were meant to be if we could only face our insecurities, face our weaknesses and not run away from them?
what do you think?