I'm not one of those people who fears the Internet is taking away every last shred of my privacy. I love that ads for shoe sales show up on my Facebook page. I love that I can ask for advice on where to go to eat and have people I've never even met weigh in.
But when I read about a new product called Blu -- an e-cigarette that alerts you when other e-cigarette users are in the area -- I wondered if technology has finally gone over to the Dark Side. Darth Vader is now the Mayor of the Death Star.
From what I can gather from a New York Times article written about the product, Blu was designed to help bring those perceived lepers of society -- smokers -- together, using the power of interactive social technology. Except Blu is an e-cigarette, so it would actually be those smokers who are trying to quit and not worried about looking like a complete idiot smoking a fake cig that emits water vapor.
Like one of those "your table is ready" vibrating beepers at Outback Steakhouse, the e-cig pack lights up and vibrates when someone else with a pack is within 50 feet. What's expected to happen next, I'm not sure. Are you supposed to go over to that complete stranger and strike up a convo about how much weight you've gained since you kicked those Camel Lights? Or ask aforementioned stranger if he/she wants to step outside for an e-smoke? Of course, you could always go for the classic, "Is that a pack of e-cigs in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
The possibilities are endless (and ridiculous).
If bringing people trying to kick their addictions together is the new black, what's next? E-Sketchers Shape-ups? E-decaf lattes? I don't mind if people know I'm trying to make myself healthier, but I'd rather not be randomly ambushed in Starbucks while I'm trying to not think about my brain-piercing caffeine headache.
If I want people to know I'm trying to kick a habit, I'll stick to doing it the old-fashioned way -- I'll post it on Facebook.
Would you ever buy a pack of e-cigarettes?