It wasn’t too many years ago when they put TV’s in elevators. I must admit it was a marvel. I could travel 32 stories straight up in a small box standing shoulder to knee with other New Yorkers and get the latest headlines, stock quotes and weather. By the time I reached the 17th floor I was completely up to date with world news. Apparently that’s not good enough or accessible enough anymore, now we need to be plugged in while we’re visiting the rest room.
Cliché as it sounds, I never thought I’d live to see the day. Here’s how it happened – I was at a meeting in the Time Warner Building last week, a beautiful structure located directly across from Central Park in New York City. The first several floors of the building have a myriad of shops to delight any business person waiting for their next meeting. I was 20 minutes early for my appointment so I thought a quick trip to the public restroom to fluff my coiffure and take away the shine was in order. Imagine my surprise when I stepped up to the wall of sinks and in addition to seeing my reflection in the mirror I saw television screens embedded into the glass. I’m not talking about an actual TV monitor built into the glass, what I saw was the futuristic technology of a ‘television mirror’.
So astounded was I, that I whipped my camera out and began snapping away. A total stranger who happened to be standing by the sink thought I was a lunatic to be taking photos in a public restroom. Perhaps she thought I was with the Board of Health instead of the creative person I am seizing an opportunity to share too much information on my blog. In any event, I’m not sure my description or my photos do this technological wonder justice (where’s Ted Fisher when you need him), but I couldn’t resist capturing the moment.
After my wonderment faded (3 minutes later) I shook my head, tsk, tsked to myself and asked the question – Do we really need television in public restrooms? There are some places that should remain quiet and private without being bombarded by any sort of information. Unless the planet is about to disappear into the ozone layer, I say leave that room public or private alone and free of distractions except for the occasional scented candle.
What about you – do you need news updates every single minute of your life?
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If ever there was a time to think about the difference between the difference between “need” and “want”, the answer to this question for me is it.
Do I NEED news updates every single minute of your life?
Heck no. In fact, the idea of not being able to chose when to be updated frightens me.
But since I sit at my desk with my feed reader open and walk around with my iPhone reading my feed reader for the rest of the day and have even been known to…yeah, you know what, I’m not going to talk about my electronic news bathroom reading habits in detail, but you get the picture… Anyway, based on my actions, I apparently do WANT them. And though there’s more than just me out there, I would think that everyone who WANTED to be this connected could find a way and that there isn’t a NEED to force this on anyone. So why do it?
I think your first picture — the one showing a GMC advertisement — says it all. I’m no AdBuster but when the day comes when I can’t choose to stand at the urinal without being shilled to… yikes, gives me chills.
Mike – you’re very funny. Yes there is a line between need and want. I find sometimes I’m waaaayyy too plugged in. And that’s when it’s time for me to take a walk and look around. It’s refreshing and I’m always creatively energized after doing something away from any electronic equipment.
They say that today’s teenagers absorb more information in one week than people in the 18th century absorbed in a lifetime. So I guess the toilet is an appropriate place to make us even more highly absorbant.