Things I Can’t Stand

I can’t stand this commercial.

It is a sad example of how isolated and disengaged we are becoming due to spending too much time with our heads down in a “Smartphone.” Moreover, it communicates so much more with its depiction of a single female who is clueless to her surroundings. You notice she lives by herself and goes to the park, the store, the dentist and the movies without interacting with other people. Finally, she’s sitting on a park bench and she runs out of data. She sighs, puts her phone down and looks around; this is supposed to be a negative thing.

Running out of data is the best thing that could happen to her!

First, we are becoming a society of zombies with our heads down and disconnected to our surroundings. I see it all around me; sadly, even in my own households at times. Go to any restaurant on any day and you will see a people at dinner, not talking, with their heads down in their Smartphone. At work, the same. People with their Smartphones on the desk, ready for the Pavlovian “ding” to hit; their attention quickly moves away from whoever is talking and down to their phone.

I think this commercial from Microsoft is ludicrous too. Yet, I see people like this everywhere!

I can’t stand coworkers in meetings with their heads in their phones reading emails and I absolutely hate it when coworkers who bring their laptops to meetings and never raise their head to even show that they remotely care about what you have to say. I do not get it. Don’t attend the meeting if you think it is of no value to you. It is far worse to read emails for the hour in front of everyone than skip the discussion altogether.

Second, I can’t stand this commercial because of the message it sends about women. The woman in it is obviously single and her only companion at most times is her Smartphone. I guess that’s all she really needs; her Smartphone and her dog, right? Single, successful professional women with their heads in their Smartphones are the market du jour these days. This is the same demographic that watches Reality TV shows like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and is on Facebook 24/7 seeking affirmation and validating each other by “liking” everyone’s postings.

How horrible is that!

There are dozens of articles across the web and in magazines about single women; why they cannot find men and why they are better off. I do not know about you, but I do not think she is “better off.” I think she needs to look up, be present and soak in her surroundings. She may notice that life is happening all around her at all times; heck, she may even get a date.

Like the woman in this commercial, too many of us are not active participants in our own lives. We are voyeurs to others’ lives; watching, comparing ourselves and commenting about them. We waste time and energy reading emails, surfing the web, watching mindless TV and not listening to our family, friends and coworkers.

I can’t stand it.

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