24th October 2018
by Charlotte Wilson
animation, Communications, Digital, Disruption, Social Media, Tech, thoughts
We’ve been having a debate in the office – a debate about phones. Namely our smartphones and how much time we spend on them. It’s a very current hot-topic at the moment – the amount of time we all spend on our phones and devices and what potentially damaging effects this could be having on our minds, bodies and souls.
On the one side, we have those who bemoan the fact that we are losing our humanity by solely existing in the virtual world, whilst the counter-argument welcomes the technological innovation and advancement that is at our very, and literal, fingertips.
So, who is right and who is wrong? Which side will be the salvation of human existence? Is the fight really between inner-peace and progression? Or is there a sweet-spot somewhere in the middle? In a world currently facing polarisation at every pillar and post, politically, spiritually and economically, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell.
So, to break-up this now somewhat heavy piece of prose about the human race, we’d like you to watch two videos that sparked-off our office debate in the first place and think about your own relationship with the most notorious and controversial figure on the planet…the smartphone….
Steve Cutts – It’s our world
Poignant, sombre and quite frankly, powerfully terrifying. Steve Cutts is well versed in creating influential animations that strike at the heart of all that is wrong with the world (see MAN if you want to feel like a real piece of human waste – but, like, in a good way?) in a very captivating and entertaining way. But is he missing a wider conversation here? Is the reality of current everyday life really any better than the escapism of our artificial worlds…?
Feeling pretty uncomfortable after watching that? Yeah, I believe that’s its intended effect – to make us all realise what we’re becoming by being constantly glued to our phones. We’re oblivious to the real-world playing out around us, good and bad. Although in this case, Cutts makes it look pretty darn bleak. Burning buildings, racist beatings, suicide, mass-lack of empathy – oh and then we all die anyway by blindly walking off a cliff in our zombie-phone-entranced-state. Not a good argument for the age of the smartphone, or our age in general, right?
So, then enter the very big-budget Three advert tilted #PhonesAreGood (very nice, I see what they’ve done there). This advert goes to Hollywood-esque lengths to show the tongue-in-cheek reasons why smartphones are actually pretty darn great for the advancement of society, and I’m not going to lie, it does make you feel good…
I mean, Henry VIII screaming ‘which one is she!!!?’ at a Tinder group-photo is honestly superb, but that aside, the advert does convey a positive message. Sure, Three come to the party with a hugely vested interest for wanting people to continue to invest in smartphone technology, but the essence of the message is still valid none-the-less. The advancement of technology ensures the advancement of mankind, making our lives, better, easier, and hopefully, longer – so perhaps we shouldn’t be so eager to regress back to a darker time when accessibility to resources and communication to the wider masses was limited to only a select few?
And here comes the big question – who is right and who is wrong? The debate still rages on at Pistachio HQ, but we do know a few things;
1. As a creative agency, much like how Steve Cutts makes his money, we operate in the digital sphere – meaning that smartphones, social media and the rapid spread of information is essential to our business model – so needless to say we’d be wary of a world where none of it exists – and we’re pretty sure that Steve must be aware of this too…
2. For an individual, too much time spent on any device over talking and listening to real people does not necessarily make for a well-rounded, and healthy, human being.
3. Life is short – if you’re in front of someone who you love, then switch the phone off and talk to them. And if you’re not in front of them? Then use your phone to enable you to get to them as quickly as possible. Simples.
4. The ability for human beings everywhere around the world to now be able to share breaking news, whistle-blow and highlight the good, and evil, acts that happen every day in their communities – that have previously gone unrecorded – is a real shining light in the progression of mankind. So please, keep sharing on those busy little phones.
5. With point number 4 in mind, FAKE NEWS IS OUT THERE – BE CAREFUL. Seriously, if you’re going to mercilessly share news from your timeline, fact check it, twice, before circulating, merci.
What are your thoughts on the great smartphone pandemic of the 21st century? We’d love to hear your take on the topic, so get sharing, liking and commenting on this piece, and let’s get talking!