What’s A Computer?

By: Yulia Nakagome

I have got to admit, it was pretty difficult for me to hold back an eye roll when my grandma told me she thought that Siri was a real person talking to her from inside her phone. I really did try to restrain myself though, because technology is constantly progressing and it is inevitable that it will leave behind some people on the way. (Sorry Grandma!) However, I did not think I would be left behind so quickly.

In one of the promotional shorts that Apple did for the new iPad Pro, a young girl goes about her day in the city, employing the iPad’s new features like the Apple Pencil, augmented reality, and the App Switcher. At the end of the video, she comes home and is sprawled on the lawn, still on her iPad, when her neighbor asks her, “Whatcha doin’ on your computer?” She barely looks up and replies, “What’s a computer?”

What do you mean, “What’s a computer?”

Obviously, the idea was to suggest that Apple’s forward technology has advanced to the point that their products can no longer be classified as mere computers. As someone who spends an extensive amount of time on an iPhone, it would be hypocritical for me to say that I do not benefit from the quality of their products. But, regardless of whether or not Apple is the superior tech brand, I think that it says more about the child than the products that she apparently failed to recognize the term “computer” (read: a programmable, usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary). My dad, who owns a Samsung Galaxy and refuses to credit “Poison Apple” for anything other than MacBooks’ speaker quality, believes that the ad is only proof that Apple is on its way out. Twitter user @brettelliot has a similar opinion.

“Apply smugly believes that they’re on the cusp of changing the world’s lexicon for computer to their product,” he said on Twitter. “It’s annoyingly out of touch.”

The commercial, which is currently running on major TV networks, was originally published on YouTube on Nov. 16, 2017. As of now, it has more than 7 million views and 57,000 likes. Of course, the other side of that is the 49,000 dislikes. Unfortunately, the comments on the video have been disabled, so there is no way of knowing what sort of wisdom YouTube users would have contributed to the discussion, but we can always count on Twitter to supply that for us.

“Good morning to EVERYONE except the ‘wHaT’s A cOmPuTeR????’ girl from the iPad commercial,” @TheRealCPhantom said.

“<Turns off router> Do you know what an internet is you smug sh*t?” @DonQuickOatz said.

Some, however, were critical of the attention that the ad is getting.

“Try watching the news if you need something to get angry about,” @davidstehle said. “Getting angry over a commercial is comical.”

Still others thought that the ad was a non-issue.

“How is it out of touch?” @ashtav3339 countered @brettelliot. “Computers may go away someday; most places are utilizing iPads more and more to replace computers. You sound like old people going ‘what’s wrong with a typewriter or phones that connect to your kitchen wall?’”

To which @r0wdy_ replied, “AN IPAD IS A COMPUTER GOD DAMNIT ASHLEY.”

To each their own. I think the only inappropriate responses to the commercial were the ones that attacked the actress, as if she was the one who insinuated that computers are behind the times.

“I feel bad for the girl,” @brettelliot said. “People hate her now, and she’s just trying to get an acting career going.”

Not to fear, @brettelliot. The actress, Hannah Alligood, is doing pretty well. From 2016 to 2017, she starred on the hit FX show, “Better Things.” As it turns out, “What’s a computer?” is not the only line she has delivered that is capable of sparking a reaction.


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