March 29, 2013

Your Turn: Mobile Lunch


A long time reader sent me this the other day. He wrote:

Thought you might be interested in this recent photograph from Adweek. Of all the industries, advertising and marketing has been at the forefront of the “cool” shots of its “celebrities”. But this takes a new turn for me. Who would have ever thought a photo of three people staring into phones would be “cool”?

Here’s the link to the article. These three are bigwigs in a start-up NYC ad agency. The guy on the left (who also happens to tweet under the handle @DrSamuelJohnson and has almost 43,000 followers) just joined as head of strategy from a firm in London. The guy on the right is the executive creative director and the woman is the managing director, both having recently relocated from San Francisco. …And yep, that’s the Carnegie Deli.

So, I’m trying to understand why this is interesting. Certainly, it purports to elevate cell phone use to a status superior to live interpersonal interaction providing us, also, with the social media age portrait of the “working lunch.” But then, being from a trade magazine, showing work peers, is it way too particular to justify larger generalizations about the impact of technology on social behavior? Or maybe, they’re just joshing around. Whether these colleagues are simply having fun with us, however, or this is how these ad folks roll, to the extent the photo still deems to comment on where our wired existence is headed, I’d say it’s ironic as hell.

(h/t: JH. photo: unattributed caption: Tom Morton, Christian Haas and Nancy Reyes multi-task at the Carnegie Deli.)

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Michael Shaw
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