What was your 100th object?
Tomorrow we will find out what the British Museum has chosen for its 100th object. It will be one of the five contenders that have been announced over the course of the last week: a football shirt, a mobile phone, some Antarctic clothing, a solar-powered lamp and charger and a pestle & mortar.
However, while we’ve been waiting to find out what the British Museum’s 100th object is, we’ve been asking you what your 100th object would be.
We’ve had a great response, and people have been discussing the idea of an object that sums up life today across BBC radio; from Greg James’s listeners on Radio 1 to Collins and Herring’s Nerd Army on Six Music.
Broadcasting House kicked us off on Radio 4 on a Sunday with objects including an International Red Cross collection box, an iPad and a botox needle.
That seems like a pretty good summary of the fantastic suggestions that you’ve given us; from the thought-provoking, to the zeitgeist grabbing, to the satirical.
I wanted to give a flavour of what you’ve been sending in, so I thought I’d list a few of our favourite suggestions in similar sets of three. So here you go:
A sheet of foam rubber from a flip-flop factory in China (which is now part of a worker’s roof), a grain of genetically modified wheat and an empty purse.
A UN helmet, the large hadron collider and some Jedward merchandise.
An antibiotic pill, a memory stick and the cap on the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
An AK-47 rifle, a cctv camera and a can of energy drink.
I think that gives a taste of the range of objects that you have nominated. However, there are a few that have clearly been more popular than others.
Plastic bags and bottles of mineral water were regularly suggested as examples of our wasteful lifestyles, and the wind turbine was a popular nomination as an object that could define our future.
But the two suggestions that have been made most frequently are a mobile phone - or smartphone - and a pc or laptop. And, as you may have guessed, the reasons given for these choices were mostly about connecting to the internet.
It’s easy to understand why. The internet is undoubtably one of the transformative technologies of our age. It’s already had a huge impact on our lives and yet we are really only just beginning to understand the effects that 24-hour access to unlimited information and a permenant record of our lives online may have over the coming decades.
We already see how it’s quickly become an important part of many people's daily life but we don’t yet know how important or where it will lead. Who knows what that smartphone or pc will enable us to do next year?
Tomorrow we find out what the British Museum’s choice of object is and there is a mobile phone among the five contenders. So maybe the power of the web even extends to predicting the future.
- The photo of people using their phones and laptops in a park is by FaceMePLS and it's used under licence.
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