Weird things happen all the time, and thanks to the internet, we get to know about more of them than ever before. But when exceptionally weird things start happening more than once, it raises the question of whether our unprecedented interconnectedness is simply making such trends visible or making them into trends in the first place. Case in point: the licking of security camera doorbells.
You know, those new little gadgets that not only alert you when there’s someone at your door, but also let you see who’s there. The proliferation of surveillance technology is giving us a fresh look into all kinds of less savory human behaviors. Those punks who smashed your super special holiday snowman? There they are, in grainy digital video glory, carrying out the act and running off into the night. Yes, of course, there are important and serious uses for these cameras too, like catching package thieves and hopefully warding off intruders in the first place. Then there’s watching the person who came to lick your security camera, for four hours.
Once the initial shock of this absurdity wears off, the deeper moral questions start to surface. Namely, did they really do anything wrong? As one of the “victims” of this phenomenon points out, the licker didn’t do any real harm to the property or the people living inside. While laws against trespassing or the spreading of harmful microorganisms may have been violated, the whole thing is really just, well, weird. At least in the cases documented so far, we can only speculate at where the motivation came from, though it doesn’t appear that any ill will or destructive urges were at play.
Behind the moral ambiguity of security camera doorbell licking, there are some rather profound political and philosophical questions lurking. What does it say about our culture that there are characters out in the night engaging in four hour licking sprees? Is this phenomenon new, or is there actually a historic trend of doorbell licking that’s only just coming to light? Have they acted alone, or is there some kind of conspiracy under it all? What is the freakin’ world coming to?!
We can say with certainty that these reports are generating publicity for the companies producing the ostensibly unflavored product in question. While it would be far fetched to suggest that the makers of the “Ring” or the “Greet” might have orchestrated the whole thing as a kind of marketing ploy, we cannot, in our professional opinions, rule the possibility out. So if you’re feeling stuck when it comes to creative ideas for your company’s marketing campaigns, ask yourself: what can I learn from those brave souls who made headlines by licking what was never meant to be licked?
In all seriousness, we did at least do a little price checking on smart doorbells after the reading the stories that inspired this post. While the delicious, though somewhat unnerving, prospect of catching our own doorbell camera licker is undeniably tempting, perhaps some things are just best left unseen.