Social Question

Hobbes's avatar

Does anyone else think this ad for the iPhone 4S is a bit disturbing?

Asked by Hobbes (7255 points ) February 12th, 2012

Look at this image. It’s on the front page of the Apple website. The right phone displays an image of a girl behind a grid of white lines, which echo a cage or fence. Beneath, it says the word “Constrain”. I know that the phone is displaying a photo-editing app, but my interpretation of that juxtaposition still seems meaningful because though smart-phones entertain us and help us to communicate and learn and share, I think they also do constrain.

Not only because they require constant fees, because the spatial range in which they can be used is limited, and because they are physically fragile and made of materials extracted and manufactured through essentially forced labor, but they also simply consume so much time with their many functions that we are in a sense slaves to these devices, at least partially. Of course, I am writing this with an Apple computer, and I appreciate the irony. I am not condemning computers, however, or Apple. I’m just trying to point out one of the many ways in which technology is a double-edged sword.

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, it’s no disturbing.

I can’t tell if your rant is about cell phones or smart phones, or just iPhone 4s. Care to elaborate?

And since you are asking for opinions rather than answers, this might be better in Social than in General.

bob_'s avatar

I don’t.

Hobbes's avatar

It’s about computing technology in general and smartphone’s in particular, based on symbolism I think I see in the iPhone 4S ad. I guess it is a rant, and it’s a stretch to make the association, but that’s where my brain went and I couldn’t shake the impression.

How exactly do I move it into social?

dappled_leaves's avatar

Yeah, you make an interesting point. I could see the image of that photo editing tool being used in a pleasingly ironic poster, perhaps with a different photo.

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. I mean, it might be symbolic for you, but I really, really doubt they were going for that.

Hobbes's avatar

@Aethelflaed

You’re probably right, all I know is my perspective.

jrpowell's avatar

Sometimes a plate of beans is just a plate of beans.

College_girl's avatar

I wouldn’t have thought anything of it until you pointed something out.

King_Pariah's avatar

It’s just constraining the image’s proportions, evening with what you pointed out, I don’t find it disturbing in the slightest.

global_nomad's avatar

Nope. Not in the slightest.

rooeytoo's avatar

No I see nothing disturbing. If the screen didn’t say crop, then perhaps constrain could have some deep subliminal subversive meaning but as it is, nope, you are stretching way too far imho to find a witch.

augustlan's avatar

@Hobbes I moved it to Social for you. In the future, if you’d like a question moved, you can flag it as ‘something else’ and ask us to move it for you. :)

wilma's avatar

No, I don’t see anything like that at all.

serenade's avatar

If there were something to that, I’d be the first to agree with you. I think your analysis is valid, in general, but I there are enough benign reasons for the composition of the ad to excuse it. We like looking at faces. The child’s ethnic makeup is trendy. And the camera is on of the 4S’ best features. If anything, perhaps one could argue for the subtle hint at some kind of child bondage thing, which is also a somewhat subliminal trend, but I simply don’t see the intention like you suggest.

Personally, I find Verizon’s “Rule the Air” campaign more sinister.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I know my movements are more constrained when I am carrying an electronic device. If I carry it in my pocket I do not bend as often. When I need to pick something off the floor I squat daintily. If there is inclement weather I am more concerned about the device than my clothes or wallet.
And now, thanks to the Kindlenookpad with its limited storage temperature range, I cannot leave it in my car in the winter for fear of cold damaging the display. So yeah, my physical movements are constrained.

ratboy's avatar

O God, I could be bounded in a iPhone 4S, and count myself a
king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad ringtones.

Ron_C's avatar

I think you’re more upset about the manufacture of a device known as an IPhone than the picture.

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