The Norman Transcript

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December 31, 2013

Apple bites into holiday humanity

(Continued)

NORMAN —

It’s brilliant — except for one thing. The movie ISN’T more important. It isn’t OK that you exit real life. Screens are not more vital than human connection. And the whole ad falls apart if you realize this.

But Apple is banking you won’t.

By manipulating the images and making the movie version of the family Christmas seem even more emotional than the real thing, it is playing on the heartstrings of a country whose citizens want more and more to be the stars of their own films.

Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. Reality TV. They all play into this.

And an iPhone is portal to them all.

So Apple, perhaps sensing that holiday humanity might mean some pushback, cleverly launches a preemptive campaign, suggesting the teen you scold tomorrow may be creating something loving today.

Except, of course, that he’s not.

The real-life teen is more likely texting a friend about how boring the family is, or checking the latest YouTube video of a rock band dressed as foxes, or playing “Angry Birds,” or watching a season’s worth of TV shows, or any one of a thousand distractions that keep real life at bay.

But that doesn’t sell iPhones.

And when you realize that Apple’s purpose is to sell stuff — not save Christmas — you have, much to Apple’s dismay, figured it out.

So perhaps as the new year approaches, this ad could serve a purpose: Let’s resolve NOT to do Apple’s bidding. Instead, try the opposite.

Vow to spend LESS time on a screen.

Less cell phone. Less iPad. Less iPod. Less Droid. Less Xbox. Less BlackBerry. Less Galaxy. Less Mac.

And, oh, yeah — yank that device from the over-immersed child. It’s OK. If he wants to be Spielberg, he can go to film school.

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