All play and no work makes the iPad a dull toy

May 17, 2010: 1:05 PM ET

In Wall-E, the Pixar vision of the future, or at least one possible future, humanity has been reduced to boneless, gelatinous masses who never get out of their comfy couches and are continually served by mechanical servants dedicated to their pleasure.  After playing with a few iPads recently, I no longer think that's too far fetched.

I know I said not too long ago that I wanted one. I was partly kidding, you know. I mean, I want any new thing that comes out and has a price tag on it, generally. I'm what the marketers call an early adopter. I adopt things early. I don't know, by the way, if "adopt" is the right word. A lot of the things I "adopt" are sitting in a drawer someplace, and have been since about a week after I "adopted" them. So it's not a real adoption. It's more of a kind of foster thing, maybe. For me, most new electronic toys are like fish and house guests -- they start to stink after three days.

At any rate, I was really hot for the iPad, I won't lie to you. Then I sat with one for a little while at a friend's house. I loved the sexy apps. I can't remember any right now, but they were very cool. I could imagine using up whole days on them. And I liked the book reader, and the music and movies and TV shows and all that good stuff. It feels good in the hand, the way all Apple stuff does. It made me want to just sit and sit and sit and sit and look into the little screen and suck it all up like a big... fat... sponge.

And that's the thing about it. If I had one, I would never work again. I would take stuff in. I would never put any out.

So I'm not going to get an iPad, at least not right now. I feel kind of guilty about it. I've been loyal to Steve and his team, supporting just about every new initiative since Macs were ugly and mouses were square. But not this time. Not right now. My life isn't over yet, at least I'd like to think so. There are plenty of things sucking my attention away from the stuff I really ought to be doing. I don't need another distraction, no matter how pretty it might be.  Not yet.

When I do, I know Apple will be there to meet me at the door of the assisted living facility.

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