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Google Chrome and ‘Watching’ Your Kids

August 9, 2011

OK, I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I find this commercial creepy and false. We (particularly guys) are already prone to live our lives through our technology. This video attempts to trade on that fact.

Granted, it’s touching. The delicate piano riff is just the latest version of sweet folkesy background muzak currently beloved of mega corporations seeking to rewire our emotional response to them. But I can’t be the only one to find the emotional denoument – ‘I’ve been emailing you all your life’ – a little meagre in the cold light of day. ‘Daddy, do you really love me?’ ‘Why, just load up your browser, Princess, and you’ll see…!’

The web is what you make it. This from the company that began with the motto ‘don’t be evil’. The responsibility is shifting. Judgements are becoming more blurred. Now we must choose what to make of the internet and Google’s role is only to help us. But if recent experience has proved anything, it’s that the internet is never simply what you make it. While we’re busy trying to make the internet what we want it to be, we ourselves are subtley moulded. In general the internet tends to decrease shared family time rather than enriching it. In the words of the latest edition of Conspire, we end up ‘memorialising’ our children digitally instead of inhabiting each moment freely and for its own sake.

Technology is not to be thoughlessly shunned. But this ad is an emotional smokescreen. It promises a homely family scrapbook for life, but the reality doesn’t ring true. Limiting our internet use could bless our families much more than expanding it. Google can be a handy information tool; but its systems provide a poor framework for a father’s love.

In order to reinforce my point, I hereby sign off from this blog to invest in family time over the holidays! In fact, using one genuine wonder of technology – it’s ability to help us limit its encroachment into life – I already left two days ago when I scheduled this post.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Miriam permalink
    September 17, 2011 11:33 am

    just logging off and going to play with my kids x

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