Why Apple’s “Sullen Youth” Ad Works, You Snide, Heartless Jerks

Maybe, like me, you’re not all that great with big family get-togethers during the holidays. Maybe, like me, you find yourself a little overwhelmed by all the reuniting, all the catching-up, all the big expressions of emotion. And maybe you’re even a “sullen teenager,” as I was many years ago, who is still figuring out how to behave around this weird mix of adults and children. Maybe you don’t always feel like you really know them, or know yourself, and maybe, like me, you just don’t thrive in that environment.

And maybe, if you’re like me, you also still love all of them a whole lot, and would like a way to show it.

That’s why Apple’s ad works. Technology and the Internet, represented in this ad by the iPhone, is what can allow us introverts to feel safe, and express ourselves more sincerely than we otherwise would be able. It’s not a crutch, it’s the amplifier, the translator. 

Maybe that sullen youth, who really does love his family, is more comfortable fiddling with his phone than “experiencing” everything so fully and physically, but you know what? That’s just who he is, and his family loves him too.

But you can go ahead and be snide, heartless jerks about it. Me and this fictional sullen youth who exists only in this corporate advertisement for a consumer product are used that.

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