There are bombs of different natures, mostly destructive. There are few bombs that exist that could possibly have any benefit for those affected by it. In a world where people sometimes share a space but don’t speak to one another, a social bomb might be just the thing necessary to get some decent human interaction.

How does it work?

The idea is that you twist a timer on its top and it will somehow disable any social networking in a 30m (90 foot) radius. Think of it as a TV-Be-Gone, only for Twitter, Facebook and e-mail.

So you are sitting at a restaurant with some friends and they are all looking at their Twitter feeds. You try to get their attention but fail because everyone is so busy with online social networking that they can’t be bothered to network with the people sitting only a few feet away from them. You take out the Social Bomb and twist the top, setting it for half an hour and boom! You have a full half hour of attention from the people at your table.

Granted, it may be angry attention, telling you to get rid of your social bomb so that they might be able to get back to their online social networking — but in person human attention it is, nevertheless. You may also raise the ire of a lot of people in the restaurant if they too are not paying attention to the flesh and blood world in which they are dwelling.

To some extent I wonder if this so-called bomb actually does anything, or is just a placebo pill to get everyone at your table to put away their pads and phones and gaming devices and look around them and have a person to person conversation. What if you just put the bomb on the table and told everyone what it did and that alone caused people to socially interact with one another, without requiring any interference from the mechanism itself?

I suppose if the Social Bomb didn’t do anything it would at the very least cause people to talk. Why are you putting this thing on the table, and what is it meant to do? People checking their Twitter feed would see that they could still do so but perhaps with just a little hint of embarrassment, seeing as someone went to the effort to put a large sign on the table that their in person attention was wanted. It’s certainly worth a try — seeing restaurant scenes in television shows like Pan Am and Mad Men makes me envious of a time when people had such intense in person conversations — even when I was in University it was not uncommon. Bring back in person social networking!

5 Comments

  1. This is an interesting, but sad, idea. I can’t think of anyone I’d sit down with for a chat or a meeting who would then pull out a phone and start texting or Tweeting. I suppose if they did, I’d never bother to sit down with them again, though.