Monday, November 11, 2013

Rogers Uncommunications Ltd.

Exactly what is Rogers Communications communicating?

A recent promotion brochure shows a young couple snuggling, well, sort of. Why are they are not looking at each other? Each is on their own smartphone, their thoughts elsewhere. Why they are smiling? Is it because they need not communicate with each other? Or prefer to talk to someone else? They are alone together.

The relevant website tells us that smartphones help"turn down time into data time." Rogers considers being together as down time?  "Data," whatever that may encompass, is more important than talking to the person beside you? Rather than communicate with the person in front of you, the website suggests the user "socialize on Facebook" or "invite a buddy to the new bar".

This promotion was followed by others which promised: "Share your data like never before (BF mine). And "Discover like never before."" Again the question, What is data? Like what you had for breakfast? Like that your dog is sick? Like what is there is to discover?

The Internet has led to "the death of distance," proclaimed British economist Frances Cairncross. In  the Rogers promotion, technology has created distance between people in the same room.

A recent issue of The Atlantic correctly observed, "Social networking has alienated us." Like yea Rogers?

Alienation is not what Marshall McLuhan had in mind for his Global Village. With contemporary technology, the more we connect, the less connected we are, the lonelier we become.

To the Rogers promotion, I suggest a caption: "I am never so lonely like as when I am with you."

Should you phone Rogers, you will be put on a 15-minute waiting priority. This is the multi-billion-dollar company that brags about its speed of communication.

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