// Posted by Sam on 01/28/2013 (12:10 AM)
Well, the world might finally be coming to an end. I can guarantee you that John Perry Barlow and William Gibson did not expect “cyberspace” to be accessible from the toilet. “The free-lancers and n’er do wells” who, according to Barlow, “found their home in cyberspace,” as it turns out have a new demographic joining them: toddlers. The iPotty, a new product developed and introduced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is as horrifying as it is self-explanatory. The Huffington Post describes the new product in their article here.
Anyone can appreciate a good newspaper or magazine in the old WC; hell, even iPhones give us our now standard 5-minute doses of entertainment.
Besides the fact that I’m starting to resent all the new products that are coming out with the “i” designation (by the way, what does that even mean? What’s next, iCereal? iToothbrushes? It’s a joke), the iPotty and its implications are remarkably annoying on their own. I’m sorry CTA digital, but this is a bright plastic piece of garbage. Is there really a need to teach toddlers how to use an iPad before they can use a toilet on their own? Are technological skills becoming as important as ditching diapers for the first time?
And even if I’m being overly critical of the implications that may or may not be associated with this joke of a product, how much time are toddlers even spending on the potty? Yes, I learned my fair share of computer skills in kindergarten when floppy disks reigned supreme and we played “Oregon Trail.” Yes, I think that iPads can be a valuable source of education for youngsters. And yes, Fred Turner has documented rather extensively the transformation from technology as a counter-culture to a so-called “cyberculture.” It worries me, though, that maybe this new iCulture is actually turning away from the dominant position that it once commanded and is beginning to become a new counter-culture? If I saw the iPotty in a child’s room, I would certainly raise some questions about the parenting. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t see a parent plopping their child down on an automated toiled showing a video of how to use the potty as being tantamount to actually teaching their child how to do something on their own. Is this newly emerging radical iCulture going to become the proverbial Tea Party of Apple, Inc.?