Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Retirement: I'm not seeing things!

I've said before that one of the great things about retirement is that it brings with it the time necessary to ponder over some of the things we see. Today I picked up the Sunday Books section of the newspaper because I had not gotten to it on Sunday before the Padres game came on television. When I hit the final page, the bottom half was an ad from Sony but about what I could not tell. Beyond the word Sony, the only words I could make out were, "Fit 80 books in you carry-on." My immediate reaction was, "why?" I need to point out here that I was wearing a pair of my cheater glasses but I could not not read another word in the entire advertisement. But by now I was curious.

I got off the couch and went out on the patio to get help from the Sun god. With his help I was able to learn that this piece of advertising was for a device called the Sony Reader. The point of the ad was that this device can hold roughly 80 downloads of your favorite books and if you purchase a Reader before the end of April, $50 worth of downloads are yours for the taking at Borders. When I finished, I began to ponder what the devil Sony was thinking.

I think I know about four people over the age of fifty who do not require some type of assistance to read the printed word. I know one of them has had Lasiks surgery. So I know hundreds of senior citizens and retirees who if not curious like I was, would have passed right over the content of this ad. Was Sony thinking, we do not want to advertise to retirees and people with vision weaknesses? Was their intent to create the kind of curiuosity that requires all of these persons to seek bright light or magnifying glasses to find out what was being advertised here? The more I pondered, the more irritated I became because I concluded that they were not thinking. This is an ad for a "reading" device and the print is so darn small no one but a teenager could read the ad. I don't know about you, but I don't know many kids today who read much more than text messages unless it is assigned as homework.

The senior citizens and retired people I know do a great deal of reading. How many would be interested in this type of device, I have no idea. I am guessing that Sony doesn't know either!

Ponder that!

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