At The Fencepost: April 4, 2012

Karen Abbott

by Karen Abbott

Help me understand 4G. Not the mechanics of a network, I’m beginning to grasp that after a few run-throughs with techno geeks. Help me understand the “need for speed,” as the commercial says.

I had to shake my head at the last commercial I’ve seen about these supposedly-great 4G networks.

Two married couples in their suburban driveways with their fancy SUVs were competing over how fast they could get the news and updates on the neighbors through their iphones or ipacs or whatever they are. They were racing over who knew about a neighbor’s giving birth who could deliver a gift the fastest. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I guess I do understand it…to a point. It looks like a recycled version of what was known in my generation as “keeping up with the Jones’.” It was ironic to me that the commercial was set in their driveways, next to their houses and cars.

When I was growing up, these were the selling points of the American dream: a fancy house and a fine car. Now, it’s become a fancy house, two or three fine cars, and the latest handheld wonder. Advertisers are selling us on the new American dream, which includes an upgrade to their proprietary communications system.

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