It’s Monday and my coffee maker broke this morning, so I’d like to use today’s space as a soap box rallying against the endless number of contraptions meant to keep us on social platforms. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support social media updates in every way, shape, or form, I just don’t think we need to be connected online with every accessory we own.
Case in point: the Budweiser Buddy Cup. Let’s say two people meet at a bar and want to become Facebook friends. One is an iPhone user and is plagued by a difficult and confusing app. Adding someone on Facebook is hard for them. The other person has an Android and uses Facebook Home. Adding someone on Facebook is easier, but still requires such pesky hurdles as typing out names and hitting the search button. Fortunately, they’re drinking with the Budweiser Buddy Cup, and can become Facebook friends merely by tapping their drinks together.
Yes my friends, the same booze-giving vessels that are famous for being carelessly strewn across frat house lawns are now Facebook compatible. We’ve reached the point where we have to be technologically connected to every person we come in contact with but don’t have the time to actually search for their profiles.
This isn’t just a post rallying against Budweiser. In fact, I think the slogan is brilliant: the more Buds, the more friends (I’m a sucker for a good pun). This is a post against smart-accessories the world over. Our pockets are already laden with phones and tablets of various sizes, do we really need techy outfits?
Many companies – including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung – have been creating smart watches. Depending on the brand that they buy, users can answer calls, check email, update their social channels and set their calendar. Oh wait, the watches also tell time. If you need more online attachment on your body, Adidas has been testing social shoes that send tweets when runners finish their workout. And of course we can’t forget Google Glass
Now when we meet people in bars we can add them on Facebook with our cups, creep through their photos with Google Glass, scroll through their Twitter feeds on our watches and check-in on our shoes. The person might think you’re deeply interested in their knitting hobby, but really you’ve been creeping on their entire online presence since high school prom while they’ve been talking.
Are iPhones and tablets to become glorified paperweights in the face of tech-accessories? In the same way that we look back on computers that took up a whole room and wonder how we survived, will we reflect in disbelief how we lived with such mammoth smartphone devices?
Whether the Buddy Cup is a cute marketing campaign or an actual product coming to bars near you, it shows how far social media has seeped into everyday objects. It’s not a top-of-the-line product unless it tweets, posts, and connects. People, we have a social problem.