Commentary

If Ford Did Phones

  • by , September 23, 2008

With the onset of my new job, I've become very aware of certain Luddite leanings I have. I don't like that my initial reaction to technological innovations is resentment and contempt. Yet, since I've been working in a media-heavy environment, I'm forced to face my my fear and reservations on a daily basis. At first I was resistant, but now I'm beginning to see my increased media and tech exposure as a welcomed challenge.

Perhaps I'm simply intimidated by emerging media and the constantly changing industry. It can be a bear to keep up with, right? Besides, I'm beginning to see that with new innovations and products we can often find novel solutions to problems we couldn't answer before. For as we both know, sticking to the traditional and familiar will get us nowhere (Insert Republican joke here.)

So, to dial it down, the current issue I'm dealing with is over smart phones. All my girlfriends have purchased a smart-phone within the past year and swear by them. Often, we have solved trivia questions at the touch of a button, found directions when lost and streamed online video with the aid of an iPhone, a Tilt or a Blackberry. I'm warming up to the idea of purchasing a smart phone, but only because the more I see others around me operating them and the more I tinker with their toys, the more encouraged I feel.

I know I'm not the only one out there that takes some time to warm-up to new technologies and trends. (I'm still waiting to warm-up to popped-collars and Ugg boots, though. At this point, I think I've missed the boat.) So I have a suggestion for those industry leaders looking for a way to reach the reluctant.

Give us a week with your phone.

Why not? Ford does it with their cars. I'll sign a permission slip, allow you to video tape my confessionals and I even promise not to exceed certain limits (something I can't promise Ford).

If I'm intimidated by a new gadget, I don't care about all the fancy features it has that may potentially be useful for me in the future. What I'm used to is having a phone that allows me to call and text. No more, no less. If I perceive the smart phone to be above my comfort and tech-competency level I will go for the phone that's only slightly more advanced than my current one. However, if I had one week to try out the phone without feeling the pressure of a two year contract looming over head my experience would be much more stress free, allowing me to set aside my biases to make a more accurate assessment of the phone, which promises profits for the phone company because I'm bound to find a few features I love and want to explore more. But, is the potential profit worth the risk for phone companies?

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