I saw a smart phone ad that said, "Unlimited is Good." I think some deep unsatisfied part of the mind gets excited by the prospect. Maybe it's the infant part of us. The part that wants to constantly suckle. The ad rapidly showed all the phones features so there wasn't a moment of silence. I was thinking a person could feel very safe from their feelings with this phone.
Last night I went to see Elvis Costello in concert. Everyone around me at some point was texting or checking email. I couldn't imagine an important enough text that would stop me from enjoying Watching the Detectives. I think we've been taught that it's good to be regularly interrupted.
Two nights ago I was watching a movie in a theater and there were people texting throughout the film. There was an ad that came on before the movie that said, "Please don't text during the movie." Earlier I spoke with one of the theater's employees who said they were told by their manager to not ask people to stop texting because they didn't want to discourage younger people from coming to the movies.
I've been purposely not taking my phone with me when I go out. I want to experience not being called when I'm driving, or not compulsively checking email when there's a slow and quiet moment. Sometimes when I know I'll need my phone during the day, I'll bring it, but turn it off until I need it. It's made my day much more relaxing.
The more intrusive marketing and technology becomes, the harder it can be to know what we actually want. It helps to step away and check in. It makes life simpler because we don't need that much.