It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when “Let’s go for a drink” did not mean: “Let’s sit next to each other, alcohol in-hand, and feign social engagement while simultaneously communicating with everyone else in the whole world through the glory of incessant mobile connectivity.”
The shared drink was a universally-sanctioned occasion for actual shared conversation – sometimes opinionated, occasionally unimportant but always enjoyable. Tête-à-tête. Mano-a-mano. You and me, one one one, as brothers- and sisters- and citizens-in-arms.
These days, however, in the words of MIT’s Sherry Turkle, “we would rather text than talk.” It isn’t so much that communication is dead; but rather that we are communicating at rather than with each other. “Often we’re too busy communicating,” as she puts it, “to really connect with the people we’re with, in the ways that really count. In continual contact, we’re alone together.”
And not to belittle the situation, but it seems that beer, as always, has the solution. And it looks like this. (Play the video below to watch an impassioned man explain how it works … albeit in Portuguese.)
You pop the beer into the beer cooler, and the Anulador de Celular from Brazilian beer brand, Polar, emits a localized mobile communications blocker (or, more literally, a cellular annihilator), which nullifies 3G, 4G, GSM, Wifi, et cetera, forcing you and your peers to actually, y’know, talk. In other words, thanks to beer, the art of drunken conversation is safe once more.