“Cool!” That’s what I told my husband. “I can’t wait to get this thing!” This cool new iPad would look beautiful next to my iPod, iPhone, iTouch, iMac, PS3, PSP, DVR, and 4 TV’s. Yes, I could sit in bed and read a book with my iPad. I could check my e-mails, my Facebook pages, and write a blog in between boring descriptions in the novel I am reading. As a consumer, I am giddy. As a person who is supposed to be more analytical, I guess I need to stop and consider what this sweet-looking device means for the world.
First of all, Marshall McLuhan’s voice rings in my ears…the medium is the message. Well, the medium is a sleek, shiny gadget with a touch screen and colors that will make my book reading more toteable and certainly more sophisticated. The message, however, may be that the multi-functional device will make my reading time multi-purposed. The upside is that I no longer need to spend my time JUST reading–imagine how much more productive I can be. The downside, however, is that reading a book is one of the very few things I do that is concentrated, single purposed, and focused. The new iPad may be the next step in taking away what little focus I have left in my life.
The second possible problem is that this new gadget adds one more layer to the complexity and consumerism I like to call my modern life. I hate to say it, but sometimes the simple things are the best. As I search for more places to stuff my old phones, dead computers, analogue tv’s, chords, adapters, and headphones, I can’t help but wonder if I really need all this stuff. After all, sometimes chopping an onion with a knife instead of a Ronco slicer-dicer might be the choice that simplifies my life. And sometimes reading in bed with a book–the old fashioned kind with real pages–may be the solution that keeps my bank account in better shape, my closet easier to use, and my life less complex. As hard as it is to say, sometimes I don’t need the newest and the fastest and the best. Scripture has ALOT to say about how we spend our money. (Something about where our treasure is our hearts will soon follow.)
So, does that mean that Steve Jobs has introduced just one more way to sabatouge our future and destroy our humanity? Well, probably not. I guess it means, however, that I can wait a little while longer to see if this cool new toy will really add some value to my day or just clutter up an already overcrowded life.