BREAKING NEWS over at Mashable:Japanese students invent a ‘girlfriend coat’ that simulates the feeling of being hugged from behind – it even whispers quotes in your ear like “Sorry I’m late”. The actual name for the coat is “Riajyuu” which derives from the slang meaning “someone who is pleased with their life outside the Internet,”.
I don’t know whether this is a depressing thing or a tale of things to come really. If you were to look past your initial reaction and consider both psychological and cultural adaptations in recent years, the true essence of how a burgeoning % of relationships are now developed online only seems a hop, skip and a twirl from this concept. Whether its through online dating or ‘Rent a friend’ – all these ideas could only come to pass by running alongside a society’s need or lacking thereof.
There has been various articles documenting the psychological repercussions of wholly living one’s life online and the constant and burgeoning use of technology overall, so does this ‘coat’ really surprise you? I don’t know, am i rambling? I feel like I’m rambling or toying with Pandora’s box here, I mean there was even an article where a dad had to hire an virtual hitman to kill his son’s avatar so he would get a job!!! We now have technology rehabs, people having affairs online, people selling their lives online, remote controlled lovers, sex robots and so much more branches that I couldn’t even begin to fathom. So i guess what I’m trying to say is no, I don’t think the invention of this ‘girlfriend coat’ is far fetched, its just sad that it has arrived so soon.
Whilst you’re waddling through that emotional fog, why not try and take a ganders at Sherry Turkle’s talk on TED ,where she discusses how relationships are now being framed and dissected by the use of technology. A very much hackneyed subject though still interesting.
Personally, no matter how far I for see myself going down the ol’ technology/digital marketing hole, I don’t think I could ever read a book online. And I’m not being a contrarian when i say that, it really is just a matter of fact with no sense of pretentious romanticism – the sheer unadulterated feeling of a well intended book, from the smoothness of the cover to the grain of a page right down to the overwhelming joy I experience upon hearing a cracked spine, no mobile device can ever compare! You just can’t sell it to me, the whole ‘1000 books in one portable device that also happens to harlem shake and dispense hot coffee’ or whatever USP they’re all barking about these days falls on deaf ears. I would rather log around 5 books on a daily basis out of sheer stubbornness than convert my entire library collection online.
Bare in mind, I may not have an expansive collection but it has been a blossoming work in progress since primary school. I loved books so much that i became the first in my class to surpass their recommended reading level twice over, which may not mean much now but in those days it was the equivalent of having the latest Harry Styles mobile wallpaper. I even took my habit as far as to enlist myself under several library memberships in different local boroughs and
stealing keeping books that tickled my fancy, I believe i even managed to read 30 and scour 20 over one whole summer. All that despite my mother nearly running bankrupt buying books for me from nearly every book fair and pamphlet. Continue reading