what iWant… :: the apple iPad video, gadgetry, and that distant sucking sound

January 27, 2010

NEW Apple iPad unveiled today.  Here’s the promotional video from Apple:

Gadgets are a great distraction for the securely planted and the financially well-endowed.  As I am deeply happy but do not fit either of the above criteria, I’m just going to say this out loud…

I don’t want an iPad.

Now, just a minute.  Let’s say you had some inside hook-up with a guy at Apple, and you were currently in the middle of wrapping up a new iPad with my name on it, and you felt like a sandwich, so you turned to go toward the fridge when you saw your laptop and decided to check your email, only to be distracted by your RSS reader, in which you saw my blog had been updated, and you are just now reading this and are planning to return said iPad with my name on it… Don’t.  It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  Right up there with the birth of my children and the Hubble Telescope.

But lack of money realigns a person’s priorities.  Sure, receiving a free iPad in the mail would make me either blink repeatedly and vibrate in place or squeal like a third grade girl.  But God is allowing a season of stretched finances and refocused attention on what matters.  Family.  Time together.  Faith.  Purpose.  Having less in the bank means more dependence on God, and more contentment with less of the frivolous.

Even as I type, I recognize the “Americanization” of my viewpoint.  I’m wildly, abundantly, unbelievably rich by much the world’s standards.  Roof?  Check.  Meals?  Check.  Clean water?  Check.  Kids have a Wii?  Check.  Even though we stopped trying to keep up with the Jones family a long time ago, I’m grateful.  Just short on disposable income in this season.

So, Apple, here’s what I think about your latest iDoo-Haw…  I think it’s genius, beautiful, and truly revolutionary.  I think you will succeed in pioneering a whole new tier of gadgetry – filling the void between laptops and smart phones.  I believe everyone in America will soon see the “need” for (at least) one of these.  I believe they will fill school classrooms in the not-so-distant future.  I believe that I can hear the whoosh of intellectual energy being sucked further into the digital hinterland.

Because the iPad is perfect for individual entertainment.  Nice big screen – for one person.  Great for reading books, playing games, surfing the web, managing email – by yourself.  All beautiful, smooth, intuitive, and accommodating the individual.  It’s like a perfectly designed “leave me alone” machine.

Honestly, it’s more than the cold, hard fact that we can’t afford a new gadget right now that is making me eschew my normal Pavlovian response to cool techno-gadgetry.  It’s the fact that living tight on funds has changed my priorities.  I’ve enjoyed coffee more lately.  Savored it.  I like simple, real moments.  I enjoy wrestling my boys more.  Being home.  As I spend more time on side jobs to pay the bills, my “off” time is more precious.  I’m watching fewer movies.  I’ve given up novels (except on vacation… gotta have a book by the pool!).  And although the iPad legitimately may be the coolest advance in gadgetry in my lifetime thus far, I just don’t think there’s any way I can justify lusting over one.

Deep down, I’m hoping my dear readers come up with several reasons why owning an iPad would deeply enrich our lives, strengthen our family bonds, further the Kingdom of God, and cure cancer.  Because it looks ridiculously off-the-charts awesome.  But, somehow, I think I’ll manage to resist the great societal sucking sound coming from all those little glowing screens, and choose contentment instead.

Unless, like I said, you have an inside hook-up with a guy at Apple?  Anyone?  Bueller?

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“what iWant :: the apple iPad video, gadgetry, and that distant sucking sound” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

11 responses to what iWant… :: the apple iPad video, gadgetry, and that distant sucking sound

  1. The birth of your children? Really?? Cuz that was pretty doggone cool and MEMORABLE for ME there, Joshy Babes!

  2. My laptop does all of the things this thing does plus more “useful” things.
    Doesn’t Amazon have the Kindle, and it’s cheaper? Oh I missed it.. it’s made by Apple, tack on another $200 just for the name.
    but if someone were to give me one, I might use it for a week before??? it breaks or I sell it because, well I just don’t NEED one.

    • You’re not alone Mark. This new gadget seems to draw equal amounts of venom and praise. The expectations were so high… I think people wanted it to cook you breakfast, make your bed, and help you lose weight. All I’m saying is (A) I think it looks amazing, but (B) I’m with you… I just don’t need it. 🙂 I’ve got too much real life going on. Thanks for checking in, man. God bless.

      • Apple stock took a dive today. I’ve heard some blame on the iPad and their choice of a name… and some blame the economy taking a dive after the State of the Union Address.
        I say a bit of both. It’s a novelty gadget that in bad economic times is not a good idea, especially that it won’t make my bed…
        Like you said, if someone were giving them away, no way would I turn them down.

        • Yeah… I’d like to go on record as saying I would have given a big thumbs down on “iPad.” But they never asked me. Was “iTablet” too long?

          iPad. Uff-da.

          And yes, let’s blame Obama. 🙂

  3. hilarious – my husband just returned this evening from a photo shoot in Vancouver and we watched the announcement online – I could see the wheels turning, as he said, “that would a cool portfolio to show clients.” Yes, it would – but we CAN’T get it … that’s lust and gluttony and we’re always telling the kids that more stuff isn’t better. I don’t think I was convincing. I’m sure we’re getting one (but when the studio buys it, not our household budget). We’ll see. Very cool indeed.

    • Yes – that would be the coolest ever portfolio to show clients. I smell a tax break! 🙂

      Wait… maybe I can integrate the use of an iPad into my worship leading on a regular basis. Hmmm…

  4. First of all, the amount of manhours of design and testing that went into producing the iPad SO eclipses any real measurement of what Amy accomplished in producing your children that the comparison is entirely laughable.

    However, even so, if you agree with the previous sentence, you will be spending most of the remainder of your life on the sofa.

    I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.

    Secondly, with regard to scaling back finances and spending more time together as a family… As I believe you know, I’ve been out of work for the better part of two years. My wife is currently sitting at the same table as me. But I’m typing on here and she’s watching a demonstration of some crafting project on YouTube. If I wanted to get her attention, the easiest way would be to type in a line on iChat/AIM (which happens to be how we met in the first place). A set of matching iPads would do wonders to nurture our development as a couple!

    Thirdly, although I haven’t confirmed with him yet, I think my brother-in-law may have led the team that designed this thing. That does not mean I expect to own one any time in the next five years. Having an inside connection doesn’t buy you much.

    • OK brother, in response to your first point (as I choke back belly laughs) I’ll simply refer you to Psalm 139. And acknowledge that my bride was literally in bed for 9 months with our last one… IV fluids and vitamins keeping her body going. I spoke in jest on my blog. You, sir, are incorrect.

      In response to your second point – I like your thinking here. It’s true that on more than one occasion Amy and I have sat at the same table, laptops whirring away, and typed lovey dovey chat notes to each other. But always with a sense of irony, as if to say, “I know this is ridiculous, but it’s kind of awesome, too, right?” A matched set of iPads just might spark some romance. Good times.

      In response to your third point… SERIOUSLY?!? That’s as cool as it gets. Much cooler than having a rock star brother-in-law. My closest “who do you know” story is probably my wife’s friend whose dad invented Captain Crunch cereal. Do you guys get that on the other side of the world?

  5. Alot of bloggers are not too happy with this new iPad.There was just 2 much hype over it and lots of people got disapointed.You see, I actually see great deal of the cool potential of the gizmo. Third-party applications for composing music, games, papers and magazines and books, tons of cool stuff, but IMHO they just didn’t really sell it very well (aside from the books). It smells kinda undercooked