Friday, July 2, 2010

On the Subject of People who Make me Laugh—At Them, Not With Them

     There are a plethora of types of people in the world today. There are people, for example, who love using the word “plethora.” There are those who hate people who use the word “plethora.” And there are those who have never even heard of the word “plethora.” But that’s slightly off-topic. But only slightly, for today I will be considering the category of people who make me laugh. As implied in the title of this post, there are those who I find delightfully funny and those I find delightfully fun to laugh at.

     Those who know me, and even those who don’t and just read my posts (whom I could probably count on one hand), know that I am not a meanniehead. Nor am I spiteful or hateful, regularly laughing at people. In fact, it is with exceeding rarity that I laugh at people. But today, as I logged onto the App Store on my iPod Touch, I found something that summoned from me a good chortle. (Don’t laugh at me for using chortle; it conjures up precisely the image that I want to create in your mind. You could say that, with my choice of words, I am controlling your mind. Frightening, isn’t it? All I have to do is figure out how to convince you to get me a candy bar…) Then came shock. Shortly following was a pity and disbelief.

     Wondering what fads were gripping the youth these days, I was scrolling through the Top 25 Apps. A game called “Angry Birds” held the top spot for paid apps. In the “ratings” section, one person advised against purchasing the $0.99 game because it was “like crack, you can’t stop.” Nothing like advice from a crack addict. I moved further down and also flipped through the different categories. In one, I saw an app, “Mirror in your pocket",” that purported to turn your iPod/iPhone into a mirror. Yes, that’s right. An app that would somehow, through nothing other than computer code, magically transform the iPod’s screen into a reflective surface. That’s right, folks! For a measly $0.99, you could have what was claiming to perform something that went against all the laws of science (and common sense) in the palm of your hand! Who wouldn’t jump at this opportunity?!?!

     Obviously I am being sarcastic. One thing, however, confused me; the app was in the Top 25 for whatever category it was in. This seemed to imply that people actually purchased this! Not only that, but they purchased this technological card trick more frequently than the vast majority of other apps available to them! I was now intrigued. I clicked on the app to check what the reviews said. And that’s where my laughter kicked in.

     One person wrote disappointedly, “Does not work. The lights around the mirror work but the mirror is black and you see nothing.” Another ranted that “All there is are a bunch of pictrue frames!!! No reflection!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Still others wrote, “IS A RIPOFF! DON’T BUY, THERE IS NO MIRROR!! I WANT MY DOLLAR BACK!” and “Doesn’t work on iTouch.”


(This is the part where I laugh.)

(This is the part where I feel shocked at the fact that so many people actually purchased this.)

(Aaaaand this is the part where I feel sorry for them, wondering how they overcome the great obstacles of life, such as tying one’s shoes, eating meals, and bathing.)


     Apparenty, on the iPhone 4, the app simply turns on the camera pointing at the controller so that it displays their face. This, of course, is still nothing close to a mirror.

     I think that this makes an important statement about our society. People have no clue how technology works anymore. If there was a catastrophe that wiped out most of the human race, leaving small groups of average individuals, they wouldn’t have a clue how to keep technology, and therefore society, functioning. It appears that enough people to propel “Mirror in your pocket” into the Top 25 legitimately believed that a piece of software, nothing but some 0’s and 1’s, was capable of transforming their iPods into reflective surfaces. Forget the software, how about mirrors??? Do people even comprehend how mirrors function??? Reflectivity is an intrinsic property that an object either has or doesn’t have; the ability to reflect light can’t be “bestowed” by a piece of software!

     When I wake up tomorrow morning, I think that I will have a new appreciation for the simple things. Perhaps I will pause and admire the way that the bristles of my toothbrush bend, the way that friction keeps my shoes tied, and the way that I can see a distorted reflection of my grinning face in my spoon. And then, after that, in an inspired get-rich-quick scheme, I will design an app that turns your iTouch/iPhone into a toothbrush. No, really; it does! And it’s only $0.99!

1 comment:

  1. Those people, they serve a purpose though. Those are the people that fill your gas tank, and sweep your floors. Why not make that app a test, keep track of who buys it, then take them out school or whatever job they're in, and stick them straight into one of those professions in which you need to know and understand next to nothing.

    Yea, yea you might run into some problems with people talking about rights and whatnot, but that kind of problem only comes up when your people don't fear you...