Sometimes we see a movement, idea, joke, song, phrase, or product that seems to become popular across the country and pop into the consciousness of people, literally overnight. People sometimes claim that it is because of mass media and social connections, but this sort of thing happened before the invention of mass communications. What seems to be a kind of organic communication between individuals across classes and distance is witnessed in history over and over again. Men started wearing beaver hats almost literally overnight and they became popular so quickly they became an environmental nightmare. A phrase was coined about those who made them – being mad as a hatter – came about because the manufactory had to do with the use of mercury that caused brain damage. Strangely beaver hats went out of style as quickly as the came in. Something happens that causes huge groups of people to suddenly act on an impulse that wasn’t broadcast by mass media because there was no mass media.
Something like this happened with the Apple iPhone X. It was terribly expensive and I remember thinking about the folks that complained about the cost of cable TV and bank charges to use an ATM had no problem sleeping out side an Apple Store to drop $1000 on a phone, but I digress. Sales people and folks in the know stated consistently that it was to be known as the iPhone “ten”, but the vast majority of users and folks that wanted to be users called it “X”. I have the “X” phone they would say despite the efforts of the folks that made it. Popular consciousness changed the name of a product, or maybe the marketers knew it would happen all along. I think the latter can’t be and here is the reason.
The new iPhone is about to be unveiled and the word is out that it will be called the “XS”. I take that to mean that it is the “10S”. There will be something satisfying to me to speak to a new phone user and ask what phone they have and hear them say “the Excess”. It will be a statement of mass consciousness and well as a confession. I’m not sure marketers would like that, although as perverse as things are getting to be, it might be a symbol of pride.