Monday, July 26, 2010

More OUCH than YUCK, but still, YUUUCK!

Rubber bands.

Yes, these small but terrible things are a pain to society, literally. Who hasn’t gotten hurt by a rubber band? I think the very first use of a rubber band that actually comes to mind is not that it can tie things together… it’s how you can make a gun with it using your fingers and shoot people.

Sure, rubber bands are handy and helpful, but that just helps mask that fact that they can hurt. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve hated rubber bands. Of course it wasn’t always like that. Sure I did make those stars other kids would make with rubber bands but then something happened... >>>I forgot how to make stars so I made a letter "K" instead... see it?

...You see, I was traumatized by a sharp hit to the cheek when I was a little girl. That was it for me. Whenever someone would hold one up and stretch it (even if it wasn’t pointed towards me) my hands would shoot up automatically in defense position and I would then attempt to cover all the parts of my skin that was exposed (so my hands were always moving). I still do that now, but please don’t try me. My brother though has his fun (rarely, or else there’d be a fight) and stretches them in front of me, my hands automatically raised and I prepare for the pain.

(I'm not sure this video will work cos it failed on me the first few times I tried to play it... I don't know what the problem is... I wouldn't be that sad if it didn't though haha... this is a video demonstration of "my hands in defense position trying to cover all the parts of my skin that was exposed" ... it's a little embarrassing but what the hell... just giving a visual demo here... enjoy!(?) haha)

Rubber bands aren’t the strongest material in the world. They break easily and when they do, they snap and you’d be unlucky if you were in its path. I don’t like that they snap unexpectedly sometimes because they’re too flimsy. I don’t know, to me they feel unsafe in a way (haha). I prefer using strings to tie things together or those “pull-and-snap” wires you buy at Handyman. There are so many alternatives for rubber bands, which is why I don’t keep any rubber bands with me. I had to get these in the pictures from a salon. Also, as mentioned earlier, I don’t like how they can be used as weapons. Kiddy weapons sure, but they still hurt, whether you use your finger gun or just stretch them and shoot. I can’t and won’t use them to tie my hair; a rubber band pulls strands of my hair because of its texture/the material itself. This happens both in the process of tying the hair and when I try to pull it out of a ponytail. You can’t really use them as accessories either, and they aren’t the prettiest things in the world. Lastly, they stink. Sure this is a teeny-weeny reason, but if you’ve ever tried opening a new box of rubber bands, you’ll get the picture. Of course this has to do with the material itself again. Overall, although the rubber band is useful and can help with quick fix-its, but I still avoid using them because of that negative image they hold in my mind since I was a kid.

Let’s Tie It Together!

The OUCH! Factor – That is definitely a category that some characteristics of a rubber band would fall under. Firstly, because of its elasticity and you can say “snapping factor,” the rubber band can cause a sharp pain to your skin when snapped at you. Also, the material itself also actually causes the snap to hurt more. The fact that they can be used as weapons definitely falls under this category. In addition, the material itself is an OUCH! Factor because of what I mentioned it can do to the hair. And we all know from my first Design Observation how sensitive I can get with my hair (hahaha). The next category is sort of, for me, a sub-category of the OUCH! Factor. I call it the Trauma Factor. Under this category would fall the simple yet very real fact that I was “traumatized by a rubber band” as a kid (that sharp hit to the cheek… I forgot who did it though). I think that a lot of people could relate to this “Trauma Factor” when thinking about why they don’t like a product. I think another category would be, again from Design Observation 1, the “WIL” Factor. This is the “would it last?” factor. As mentioned earlier, these rubber bands are flimsy things. They can be used to tie things but they can snap unexpectedly in the process. They aren’t as reliable as their alternatives. They are too flimsy. I think the last category I would group these factors in would be the “I Sense a Small” Category. This category describes what the product can do with the “senses” – whether it appeals to your eyes, your nose, that sort of thing. In this group would fall all the small things I don’t like about rubber bands. The fact that they can’t be used as accessories (because honestly, they would look cheap and ugly on you… wouldn’t you agree?), the fact that well, they aren’t the most attractive looking things, and lastly again, the little, little fact that they stink – these are the factors that would fall under my Small Category.

There we have it, all the big and small reasons why I think rubber bands are YUCK-y. The categories are design features in themselves. And, the ones I made, I think, would help other people decipher their feeling about any other product as well. Let’s see, nobody likes pain (OUCH! Factor) and nobody would like a product if they were traumatized by it (Trauma Factor – which can be a category on its own, depending on the person’s experience), nobody likes things that can’t hold or would give up unexpectedly (WIL Factor), and lastly, people have so many small reasons they don’t like about a product and this usually has something to do with the senses, which is why my I Sense a Small Category exists (well, it depends on the product of course whether it really does have a small or big impact on your senses which would then alter your judgment accordingly – you can maybe change it to I Sense a Big Category). The last category would allow you to judge a product based on its look, its smell, how its sounds, etc. I think this group would be very helpful in pointing out what you don’t like about a product, whether it’s a big thing or a small thing. As I mentioned earlier, these categories are design features in themselves (like my WOW observation), so go ahead, it’s your turn to test them on your own product.


  1. oh shoot the video worked. hahahaha ok then

  2. I agree... i hate using rubberbands... especially to tie my hair...soooo painful to take it off... Have you seen the animal shaped rubberbands? they're cute :-) but still painful...

  3. i don't know, i haven't tied my hair with rubber bands yet. i can imagine that they snag though. I like using rubber bands for magic tricks