HP wants to shame you into printing more pictures

How do you get people to print more of their carefully composed snaps? Tell them that their online behavior is a disgrace. At least, that's HP's new idea.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

 Well, if you print it and put it on your fridge it is.

Screenshot by ZDNet

You should be ashamed of yourself.

You spend your days sending emojis, memojis, and, for all I know, semophojis in the belief that this makes you hip. Or cool. Or astonishingly of the moment.

You use technology to make your dog look silly, your baby vomit when it actually hasn't for once, and your innards appear to be laughing when you're really lying in bed with your clothes on, utterly fed up.

This is, at least, the picture painted by HP in its newest ad.

It presents a litany of modern failings. Technological, behavioral failings, that is.

We use our phones to alter our faces and our bodies -- or other people's -- because we think it's funny. 

We even go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and instead just take pictures of her with our phones.

HP asks a philosophical question: Have we lost touch with what's real?

Here's a philosophical answer: Yes.

And companies like HP have been in the vanguard of helping us in our self-destructive, online-huddling ways.

I'm sure HP's cloud helps us store all these dreadful images that we're creating with our phones.

It's clear, then, that the company is shaming you because it's ashamed of its own role in this descent into virtual madness.

Thankfully, HP has a solution. Print more of your silly photos and place them on your fridge door.

That way, you'll be in touch with the real world again, able to stroke your photos and watch them curl at the corners as time goes by.

It's a little toe-curling, though, to hear HP expound: "HP printers can help you get your balance back by making amazing things for your real world, not just your digital one."

It's a slide into sanctimony, but I confess to having some sympathy with the essential sentiment.

We have so many photos on our phones and in our clouds. How often do we give them a true manifestation and display them to be admired, celebrated and enjoyed?

And how often do we hand our phones to friends in bars for them to quickly flick through our last 10 years in pictures?

Technology commoditizes so much. Allowing your pictures to be made flesh gives them a certain life.

And we could all do with getting a life these days. A real life, that is.

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