Research, analysis, and thought leadership for enterprise communications.

Underdog and the Future of Addictive Communications

by in Telecom

Like me, I am sure you’ve seen articles and news stories about how the old Jetsons cartoons predicted the future. Off the top of my head, I can think of:

  • Robot vacuums (can you say Roomba?)
  • Flat screen TVs
  • Tanning beds
  • Talking appliances
  • Video phones

In a moment of boredom/nostalgia, I went on YouTube to see what I could find of another of my favorite childhood cartoons – Underdog. Granted, the artwork is as simplistic as the plots, but there is something about a hapless hero saving the world from evil doers that appealed to me. Thankfully, there were enough videos out there to remind me of why I liked them then and why I’ve outgrown them now.

One thing I didn’t expect was that like the Jetsons, Underdog is filled with devices and gadgets well before its time. As a communications guy, I was especially struck by this episode.

Ignoring the little light bulbs that appear on the tops of people’s heads after entering a “phony phone booth,” think about the implication of how modern communication devices take control of our lives.

I hate to admit it, but my iPhone has become the drug that keeps calling me back for more. I am constantly checking for emails, Facebook comments, stock portfolio changes, weather reports, Instagram photos, Twitter notifications, etc. I recently went out to dinner and accidentally left my phone at home. It felt as if I was walking into the restaurant naked.

Anyway, there isn’t a point to this other than the realization that a dumb 1960s cartoon anticipated the life of a man in the year 2016. Will I drive my milk truck into a telephone pole? I sure hope not, but I’ve heard of far too many accidents caused by texting, emailing, and web surfing while driving.  I’ve seen too many people ignore the world around them because their eyes were glued to their phones.  I’ve seen how they interrupt conversations and destroy the ability to concentrate on anything more that a few minutes at a time.

Perhaps Underdog wasn’t that dumb, after all.  Now, excuse me while I check my phone to see what really, really important thing happened in the last two minutes…


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  • Perhaps it was Underdog that got me into telecom. Also, I still have that annoying habit of biting coins. The video is very realistic except for one thing. As an owner of a phone booth I can say they are very heavy. I am sure Cad is strong, but it took about 6 guys to move my phone booth from truck to curb.

    • Andrew Prokop

      Don’t ever underestimate the power of an evil henchman.

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About this Post

Andrew Prokop By

Andrew Prokop, Director of Vertical Industries at Arrow Systems Integration, has been heavily involved with SIP and VoIP since the late 1990’s. He holds five United States patents in SIP technologies and was on the teams that developed Nortel’s carrier-grade SIP soft switch and SIP-based contact center. Andrew understands the needs of the enterprise and has the background and skills necessary to assist companies as they drive towards a world of dynamic and immersive communications. His popular blog, SIP Adventures, is a go-to website to learn about SIP and emerging IP technologies.