A discussion on my favorite radio program prompted listeners to come up with a new word. What should we call that break that people take, sitting in their parked cars, checking their phones?
The Media Moment – The Modern Cigarette Break
I agree that “media moment” has legs as a phrase. And I think it’s going to stand for a long time. Obviously, as our addiction to communication increases we’ll continue in this huddling over our phones- hunched over in cars or hiding outside back doors. People everywhere, stepping out or sitting down to take a break. Before “media moments” gets considered for the dictionary, I think it’s worth considering the rise of this behavior in America, as it relates to the disappearance of another.
- Cigarettes are on their way out. The surgeon general told us it’s a no-no. Then the government banned advertising. Then everyone started campaigns to reverse all the damage that all the five-minute breaks the generation before us just had to keep having. And today, a lot of people have quit. Cigarette smokers are the minority. But some people are still taking breaks.
- Texting while driving is in. Statistics prove that it’s a no-no. Then the government banned the use of phones while driving. Then everyone got behind campaigns like hands-free and it-can-wait. And these are important. But some people still have only one hand on the wheel.
- Everyone needs five minutes. Our lungs suffered the cigarettes. Even from the skinny, light slims. Now our minds suffer the restlessness of constant, instant information. Even from the light-hearted, laughable, quick tweets.
- Everyone needs to be alone. But invariably they gather with those of their kind. Cigarette smokers ended up chatting with other cigarette smokers nearby. People on their phones end up chatting with other people on their phones elsewhere.
- Everything is a product. Tobacco is still far from on its way out. Industries do their best to adapt. So they gave cigarettes an electronic facelift. It’s sort of like an aging, iconic rock star getting a makeover to “get with the times.” (If you ask me, e-cigs are a desperate effort on behalf of big tobacco. It’s like trying to fit something new and exciting right in between our former nicotine stick moments and our current smart phone media moments. I don’t think there’s room. These moments have already undergone a definitive transition.)
- Everything that isn’t even a thing is a product. Namely- wi-fi, data, storage and minutes. We buy them in packs like we bought cigarettes in packs and it sucks when you run out because then you can’t have your “moments.” Which leads me to the conclude that it’s all just…
- Addiction. We think we did away with a bad habit. All we did is replace it with another habit.