My readers know that phrase…and my intense disdain for those who use the word digital or mobile or social, ascribing to them powers, attributes and meaning that are in fact pure crap.
Truth is that the worst offenders are those looking for support for BIG new ideas – having “created what humankind has never seen before;” those who raise the money for them – having in their hands the next “billion dollar life/world has never-seen-before game changer” and you better get aboard early idea; and then, for me sadly, my own industry, which often takes those ideas, adds a layer or two and then goes to market with the “first time ever seen in human history life-changing marketing concept”…and so it goes….
However – what is worse – far worse, is life imitating digibabble…pathetic, in fact.
Witness the McLaughlins…a Canadian couple who ostensibly couldn’t find inspiration for their newborn baby’s name. So instead of turning to friends and family – instead of looking for a personal revelation of sorts, they turned to the Internet and asked for suggestions – and the votes on the suggestions – promising…sort of…to use the most popular name.
Seven thousand “emotionally involved” persons submitted names and some 150,000 voted – so it seems.
However, the savvy couple kept veto rights and thus the baby was spared everlasting shame – that is, until she would have been old enough to legally change her name:
“Unfortunately internet I know better than to trust you,” the website states. “We will ultimately be making the final decision, Alas my daughter shall not be named WackyTaco692. Sorry guys the wife wouldn’t go for a free for all.”
So while Cthulhu All-Spark was the winning entry, the McLaughlins played the veto card and named her Amelia Savannah Joy – no doubt sparking lawsuits, calls of lack of transparency and the dying enmity of those who hadn’t read the fine print and actually thought they had confined this baby to the hell of being named after “H.P Lovecraft’s monstrous god, described as having ‘an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet.’”
Now I haven’t seen the baby…but since Rosemary…no way….
Bottom line – these people got their 15 mgs of fame as a content-starved press gave it to them – and a seemingly bored populace played along with lots of implied digital congratulations of “look what we can do online!” and no doubt inspired many digital marketers thinking about naming their next product or whatever…
If this is what we are reduced to, I’d rather return to town criers and broadsides on the doors of public houses…the promise of digital has to be bigger than this!!!!
Look – these folks can do what they want – as we all can – my beef is not with them but with those who find this a worthy story of our digitally connected world…or somehow think that we can get baby names only this way….
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” ‑ Albert Einstein
And there you have it – we should be changing the world with digital technology…not changing babies’ names….
What do you think?