Sunday, March 28, 2010

the new smart

I like to think of myself as smart. I did well in school. I know lots of things. Understanding, imagining and remembering are activities that I enjoy. I am good at using my brain. People often tell me, " you are one of the smartest people I know."

Lately, I've noticed that the word smart isn't just for brainiacs and trivia-knowers any more. Suddenly, everything good is "smart." It's not subtle. Smart has become the prefix of choice, denoting anything that is "what you want now." We all want to be smart, so it's smart to have things that are "smart."

I was walking home from work the other day (smart for the environment and for my fitness level), when I was almost run over by a smart car, being driven by a dumb driver. Those smart cars aren't as big as our old stupid cars, but it still smarts when they hit you. I'm glad that driver missed.

I was a bit shaken up, so I thought I'd phone my husband to tell him what just happened. Trouble is, I left my new smart phone at home. "Never mind," I thought, "he's probably not home yet anyway." Even though everyone at his office took a seminar about how to "work smarter, not harder," he's still working longer days than I am. He says he's worried that his company is getting ready for downsizing - only they now call it smartsizing. Maybe it's smart for the company, but for the employees it's "fire smarter, cry harder."

Speaking of smartsizing, have you seen the new menu at McDonalds? Say I order a burger, soft drink and fries. The guy at the counter will now ask me, "Would you like to smartsize that?" If I say yes, he gives me a banana and a glass of water, charges me $6.95, and tells me to "have an intelligent day."

Intelligence is everywhere. There are little computers in my car, my refrigerator, my furnace, even my toilet. Everything has sensors and regulating programs, all powered by "smart technology." This, to me, is a relief. Look at the mess our world is in today, from our reliance on idiot technology. It's about time someone invented some smart technology. It's also good to know that it's the technology that's smart or not smart, instead of the people who invent or use it.

The best part is that now we don't have to work hard to get smart. I remember when smart came from experience and effort. We got smart by going to school, reading books, performing experiments and investigations and interacting with other smart people. Now we just go buy smart at the shopping mall. Bring your debit or credit card (with the latest smart chip ID technology) and it's easy to own your own piece of smart (that is, unless you forget your PIN number - that's not smart at all).

But don't worry about forgetting. We have vitamins, electronic games and special oxygenated water (imagine, H2O with oxygen added - what an innovation!) all guaranteed to improve your memory (or at least slow down your forgetting). I'll have to find out more about that and get back to you. I just have to go pay someone to look up the facts for me first. Now that's smart.

question: what does smart mean to you?

mompoet - still smart and smiling

1 comment:

Lynn Valley Girl said...

You truly are one of the smartest people I know. What an awesome piece MP! I can imagine you saying this in front of a roomful of people!! If you do, dress smartly!