Just moments after Steve Jobs demonstrated the iPad to the world on January 27, 2010, people sent in their opinions on whether or not they would be pre-ordering one. As a therapist oriented towards education, I was fascinated with how quickly individuals formed highly opinionated statements about their choice.
Many of these statements were not backed with logical evidence, but with unsubstantiated adjectives: “dumb, hypocritical, useless, crap, brilliant, clever, stupid.”
I’ve never been one to “must have” the newest gadget when it’s released. If anything, I’ve usually been the one laughing at the people who wait outside of a store early in the morning to be one of the first to buy something at retail price. I’m naturally curious – and equally cautious. Admittedly, I’ll let others do the shake-down of a product. When things are perfected, I’ll happily plunk my hard-earned cash down (while looking for a way to save a buck, here or there). Yet, I reserve judgment until after I pull off its cover and try something for myself.
Not every person who claims to hate the iPad secretly wants one. There must be people who genuinely believe they do not wish to have an iPad, too. There are also people who genuinely believe they do not have a present need for an iPad, and thus have better uses for their limited resources (such as food, gas, medicine, and heat for their homes).
But why would anyone be so hasty to reject something outright that they have not tried themselves? Isn’t that akin to listening to a kid say he hates broccoli when he has never tasted a single crown?
I asked Chris why he thought people might have such a strong reaction to the iPad release. Strangely, he asked me to reveal my theories first. Here they are:
- You have a problem with desire. If you reject something without hesitation by labeling it as something you don’t want, you need not experience the pang of longing, wishing, and (perhaps) not receiving. This is similar to how we feel about relationships we are unsure of. Notice that many romance films include two people people who feign disinterest or conflict to hide their real desires; they’d like to meet up somewhere alone and “play doctor” on each other.
- You ask the wrong questions. If you ask an unrelated question of something or someone, you won’t get an answer that makes sense. Initially, people asked the iPad to be all things to all people without considering what its function was to be: a mobile device with the usability of an iPhone for consuming large amounts of content comfortably without being chained to one position or a “laptop” paradigm.
- You hate change. Even if that disruption of routine relates to using familiar apps on a less-than-familiar device, there is this little voice in us that ever-so-quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) says: “Shit!” For example, how about having to manually select which applications to use on the iPad after hungrily devouring hundreds on your iPhone? Perhaps some of us would rather hover close to our mobile phones – and others enjoy the status those phones connoted to others.
- You have envy. Put simply, this drives people to spew hate-filled comments about what they cannot have. Ever watch a man who loves an unreachable woman suddenly call her a “bitch?” Or a woman describe a car as “ugly” because it’s beyond her budget?
People see what they want to see, believe what they want to believe, and do what they want to do.
Whether right or wrong, good or bad, people act upon these principles not necessarily from experience – nor from a logical sequence of thoughts. Therefore, if you are looking to answer the wrong question, you will find the answer you are looking for (not necessarily the answer to the question you should be asking). The only destination you’ll arrive at is a place called confusion. You may not even know what it is you want.
As much as we may anticipate the freedoms (or ease of life) that follows a new development in technology, it’s change itself that stops millions of us from moving on from such activities as overeating, smoking, oversleeping, or moving into activities such as trying a new job, going back to school, initiating an exercise routine, moving to another state or country, or speaking another language.
We resist – but in the end, we encounter gamechangers such as the iPad that remind us of one single truth: change or die. Resistance is futile.
Chris came up with yet another possible reason:
At the same time, I know that if there were a giveaway of a hundred iPads at my local Apple store on a first-come, first-served basis, then riot police (with tear gas available) would need to keep the peace.
Just yesterday, Chris set the iPad in my hands many hours after filming demonstrations for his unboxing event for the live stream and chat room. Though there were a number of interesting apps to explore, we ended up settling into putting together a puzzle, struggling through the unforeseen problem of flipping individual puzzle pieces without moving already-finished edges. Honestly, I was more interested in reading a page from a book on the iPad, or trying out a driving game to check out the graphics and the “grace notes” touted by early-release press reviews. But it was the simplicity of making a puzzle on an iPad in a quiet room that made me think of all the possibilities about to be laid at our feet.
I was in awe.
Certainly, there are glitches to be ironed out in the months ahead. Applications not perfected for the iPhone have been less than desirable on the iPad. Other apps have simply crashed more often than ocean waves in a storm (chiefly because hardware only became available to most developers yesterday). I kept going back to the simplicity of the device, its portability, and how easy it was on the eyes. It made me say: “My Mum is going to love this.”
And for the Twitterverse: #iPad #iwant
B. Imei Hsu, RN, MAC, LMHC, RYT is a nurse psychotherapist, Yoga instructor, dance artist in Bollywood and Bellydance, and n00b to Social Media. When she’s not putting virtual pennies in her SmartyPig.com account for an iPad, she’s gardening and hanging out with her Applehead Siamese cat Charles-Monet in Seattle, WA. For inquiries, email Imei at firstname.lastname@example.org.