A teenaged boy, quiet and seemingly bored with wide eyes glued to his iPhone’s screen, attends a family holiday party. So it’s just another moody kid unwilling to participate in the spirit of Christmas, right?
The Christmas season may be long past, but Apple’s holiday commercial is still worth watching. The plot twist is admittedly very cute, but it’s thought provoking as well. All along the boy had been capturing joyful moments between him and his relatives. The hug his grandfather gave him upon seeing him. Snow angels forming under backs bundled in jackets and coats. A child enraptured by sparkling ornaments. And at the end of the day when the family gather together in front of their television, the boy shares with them these sentimental snippets that any other year would have gone unnoticed.
In this ad, more than usual, Apple displays its “knack for…nailing the human aspect of technology,” and while some might say the company oversells the “human aspect” of its devices, I completely disagree. For consumers, that personal connection is so important. Technology has the potential to drive us apart, and we hear about it all the time. You’ve seen it in one form or another. A short text message replacing a much anticipated phone call. Some kid in a restaurant playing Angry Birds at dinner. Then, of course, there’s the jaded teenager with their face stuck in their phone screen at a family gathering. The abuse of technology is prevalent in the media and swamps the fact that technology has allowed us the opportunity to connect with others more easily and network efficiently. It also allows us the chance to capture precious moments of our lives, which may otherwise have gone unremembered, exactly as we wish them to be captured.
As devices are upgraded and new devices appear on shelves, it’s imperative that tech companies show how they can add to our lives and bring people together. This is precisely what Apples does. Maybe—hopefully—others will follow.