The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 overtook the news last week. I followed it, noting the advancements in it's technology, the criticisms of it's design… and the overall disappointment in what I believe to be “smartphone ennui” Apple knows this, as everyone was let down that the iPhone 5 couldn't do your laundry or your taxes, or whatever the next new thing in tech is that will rock our world.
What I missed until I had the time to really sit and read the news was more than a few journalists noted some of the theatrics at last week's unveiling at Radio City Music Hall. Upon showing the features of the new phone, “air gestures” (no more smudge marks on your phone!) they asked a panel of actresses portraying ditsy bridesmaids on stage as to why they needed the features, “My nails are wet!” “Sticky fingers.” “Sunscreen.” and “I really don't want to put down this drink.”
Granted, in my own life, wet nails have been a concern when it comes to using my smartphone… nonetheless, I cringed watching this video. They also noted how the phone could be like the doctor your mom always wanted you to marry, and that the only reason why you'd want the fitness features was to burn calories. You know because us women, are always concerned about our weight.
The tech world has been at a loss as to how to approach the whole “appeal to women” issue for as long as I can remember. Even though women are increasingly the purchasers of technology, not much has changed when it comes to understanding what “women” look for in tech. However, I would like to go out on a limb and say… maybe the tech companies can do good for women by not portraying us as stereotypically shallow, shrill and somewhat ditsy? Maybe just as people who have concerns like “How long does the battery last?” and “Does the GPS actually work?”
But highlighting the benefits in terms of saving wet nails, is that the right way to go?
As bloggers, we rely on technology to do our jobs. In our particular niche, women are the majority, but does that mean when it comes to technology, should we be more sensitive about how the tech world portrays women?
With Samsung, this wasn't the first time they've promoted questionably sexist marketing. The Atlantic Wire wrote an excellent piece about Samsung's history of it's portrayal of women:
In a 2010 commercial, a guy shuts his girlfriend up by giving her his phone to play with:
And last year, the GalaxyII phablet's commercial depicted this woman more concerned about puppies than doing her job:
I don't know if these are exactly “sexist” they're certainly annoying ads.
As a blogger and as a woman, do these messages above affect your opinion and choices when it comes to purchasing? Or is this really, no big deal?
[Image Credit: cbc.ca]