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Palm-sized Nirvana

Charis Weathers

It left me breathless. I wanted to embrace the world, jump off mountains, bear-hug lions, and put my life on the line, because this is the way it should be! I can transcend the daily! I can be more! I can be a hero! The angelic music only confirms it: this is my destiny, and this camera company is simply revealing it to me. 

One has to marvel at the marketing skills of GoPro. They came on the market at the same time as other outdoor action cams, but they blitzed so hard with advertising that the competition is hardly known. GoPro has televisions for their retail displays, endlessly looping footage of what your life could be like if you had one of these cameras. Oh, and it's appealing. I have one of their earlier models and it can do some pretty cool stuff, but I certainly haven't seen evidence that the vast majority of GoPro owners are actually editing their material to let others know of their exploits. The camera is a great tool (and this one is even smaller and lighter!!) that takes fantastic footage, but for all its glitz, it doesn't actually offer the life that it portrays. 

Bummer.  

I watched this video yesterday morning when the GoPro Hero3+ debuted. I was awestruck. Admittedly, I wanted one, because the vision of glory that they depict is what I want in life. At least I should want it. I mean, wanting that image of life will help me buy the camera, right?

Videos such as these help me look at my ideals. But the ideals aren't really the problem, it's the difference between my deep, inner desires, and what I want to portray. They often are not the same. I'd like to be the lithe snowboard phenom who slays the extreme backcountry routes, but actually, I think I just want to look that good on film. I don't really want to slog up that mountain with all my gear, nervous about avalanches and breaking my femur, and then get down to the bottom all too quickly. Others do. They really, really do. But not me. I only think I do after watching that glorious, sunny, slow-mo video, that makes those people look like gods.

If the new GoPro helps people to achieve these sorts of dreams, then awesome. What helps me, though, is to take the feelings that I get from watching GoPro's brilliant new advertising video and put them toward finding out what I really, really want in life - connection, creativity, beauty, fairness, worthwhile vocation - and then go after those like I was flying down a mountain on a flimsy piece of wood. 

I do want to hug friendly lions, though.  Yes, yes, I do.

Postscript (10/11/13): GoPro continues to market well. Check out the latest tear jerker