by Rob Gregory Browne
So I walked into Best Buy over the weekend and starting wandering around the TV section for no reason other than I like to look around. I don’t need a TV. I’ve got a really big one that I don’t have time to watch, although my wife gets a lot of use out of it.
Anyway, I was wandering around, checking out the 3D TV—where everything looks like 2D cardboard cutouts placed in 3D space—when a saleswoman snagged me to give me a demo of the new Google TV.
Now, this post isn’t about Google TV, but let me get this out of the way: Google and Sony have made the first real step toward marrying the TV with Internet browsing. Yes, I know there was WebTV years ago and that was a disaster, but this is so much more than that. It is, however, still in its infancy and it’ll be a while before it’s ready for prime time. Although this was about as close as I’ve seen.
But like I said, this post isn’t about that. Flash forward about half an hour and I’m in the car with my wife and we’re headed toward Target where she can do some shopping and I can slip into the little sushi store next door and order a roll. Gots to have my sushi.
So we’re riding along, heading down the freeway, when I start telling her about the Google TV and I admit I was pretty excited about it. I’m telling her, “I’ve been waiting for this for ten years,” and went on to describe some of the features.
When I was done she said, “I’ve got a potential blog post for you.”
“Do you remember that cartoon by Gary Larson? The one where the owner is talking to his dog?”
I said I did. It’s one of my favorite cartoons. In fact, here it is:
“Well,” she continued, “after you said ‘Google TV’, all I heard was blah blah blah USB blah blah blah Leo Laporte blah blah blah.”
The post, she said, should be about what people say to us that makes us automatically tune out. In her case, anytime I start talking technology it’s pretty much a foreign language to her, so she starts thinking about things like how worried she is about the kids or whether or not the DVR is properly recording her tennis game or what she needs to do when she goes into work on Monday.
For me, I tune out as soon as someone starts talking sports. I’ve never been a sports guy and the moment the conversation turns to whatever pitcher or quarterback or point guard is screwing up the team, all I’m hearing is blah blah blah.
Or clothes and shoes. When I’m around women and the topic, as it always seems to do, turns to somebody’s GORGEOUS shoes, I’m on another planet.
Of course, all this time I’m nodding and pretending to listen because I don’t want to be rude, but honestly, sometimes you just have to tune your brain to an alternate station just for survival’s sake.
And I think that’s true for all of us. We hear bits and pieces of what someone is saying, but for the most part we’re gone. For every single one of us, there’s a topic of conversation that just doesn’t hold our interest for longer than a nanosecond, and we do what we have to to survive it.
So before this post turns into one of those topics, I’ll ask what I came here to ask:
What subject is an immediate turn-off to you? When do you find your mind wandering to the point that all you hear is blah blah blah blah blah?
I promise to listen. 🙂