Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph." Shirley Temple

Recently there was a video of people putting their cell phones near some popcorn and then calling the phones. Amazingly the popcorn starts popping. I received that video as an email link from 15 different people. All the people that sent it to me thought I would be very interested because of how much I like gadgets. Every email that I got had almost the same subject line. “If they can do this what are they doing to our brains?” I really do appreciate all the people who sent these in because it is hard trying to stay on top of tech. Unfortunately all of the senders were duped. I too had an instant reaction of “wow” followed by a “something is wrong here” moment. What we need to understand is that tools like Photoshop and video editors have destroyed the old saying “seeing is believing”. Everything can be cut up, rearranged, added to and just generally messed with to create any picture or video desired. Most of the time I have no problem with these videos. They are usually entertaining and fairly cool but this one introduces paranoia about a well known product. Some people will watch this video, not knowing it is fake, and believe it to be a real possibility. It is not. It just doesn’t work that way. Now if one person creates this by themselves I can say OK that was a person’s bad judgment but when it is a company doing this my thoughts go from annoyed to downright angry. The popcorn phone video was created by sellers of Bluetooth headsets in hopes of getting people so scared of the effects of cell phone radiation that they will run out and buy one. That is unfair and frankly just awful. Consider the potential possibilities and effects that these videos might have. We have laws about commercials and what they may say on TV for a reason. When confronted with a similar video that is just a little too amazing please head over to a site like snopes and double check the validity. Be entertained first and then be informed and yes keep the emails coming.

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