Is it all about the iPad?

This video is so me. My father-in-law shared this funny commercial with me. While it is not the epitome of my marriage there are many striking similarities with Emma and myself. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and laptop, and yet I prefer paper in so many ways. Yes, I am hard-core about my iPhone. It comes with my everywhere, and I do know why I held on to my flip phone so many years ago. I was against a contraption that did all these things. I did not want to jump ship and get onboard. And then I did, and never looked back. With the exception of a few things.

I am a post-it whore. I should probably buy stock in 3M. I use them constantly at work and at home. A note app is great when you want to track a list of things, and when it pings you, but sometimes having that little sticky post-it on your phone that you touch and feel and have as a reminder is way more in your face then that note app you have to open and remember to check. I still have yet to find the perfect app that does exactly what I need, and so I resort to post-its. I am sure 3M is grateful.

Next, I am old school because I still read books from an actual paper version. I have tried to read from books on my iPhone or iPad and it just is not the same. Sure when you are traveling or on the go it is way more convenient, but there is something real about holding that book in your hand, being able to tell how far you have to go, or how much you have left (especially when it is a really good book). There is just something so sterile about reading a book on an iPad. Which is why I loved this line from “Sex and the City: The Movie” with Carrie and Mr. Big:

Mr Big says: “Are you the last person in New York still taking out library books?” Carrie says: “I love the smell. Mm.”

Ah, I am not one for the smell, or the treasures (usually a bit gross) you find in a book, but I love to know the adventure it has been on. How many times someone dropped it in the bathtub (curled pages), when someone loves the book (dog eared pages), a note or receipt someone left behind, and so many other oddities that tell the path that book has been on.

So when I watched this quick ad for toilet paper, I thought touche when I saw the ending!

Don’t make me think…

We have become a culture of easy, quick, right at your fingertips. The iPhone has changed the way we look at the world, what we expect, and how we expect to consume information, apps, and really anything that is easily accessible.

On my flight back from Shanghai I finished reading a book called: “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Klug. I love the title of his book as it is spot on. I would rather frequent a website that does not make me hunt and peck for the information I need. Obviously there are plenty of websites that you do not have a choice and have to use. Your banking, credit card, local water company or trash service website all mean you either call them or get what you get on their website.

I am still always in awe of how quickly smartphones, the web, and apps have made it that we do a zillion things all within a tiny little device. I remember maybe 5 years ago, I was still using an old school flip phone that did not even have a camera, while Chris had a Razr phone. At the time the Razr was so slim and such a big deal. Eventually I upgraded from my old school phone to an iPhone 3 and well, my life was just never the same. Klug explains this well in this comment:

“Just consider how many things the smartphone allowed you to carry in your pocket or purse at all times: a camera (still and video, and for many people, the best one they’d ever owned), a GPS with maps of the whole world, a watch, an alarm clock, all of your photos and music, etc., etc.” page 144

Think about how much you do on a daily basis on your phone. How many people do you communicate with daily, hourly, each minute? How many pictures and videos do you take and share? How often do you check your stocks? The news? How many games do you play? How often do you interact with social media? How much do you manage your finances right from your phone? Do you check the weather daily? Get directions to that new restaurant? Listen to music? Track your flight? Surf the Internet? Do you manage your life, grocery, and errand lists on your phone? Oh, and the old school part of it all, how often do you even use your phone to talk to someone?

Later Klug says:

“And think about the fact that for most people in emerging countries, in the same way they bypassed landlines and went straight to cellphones, the smartphone is their first—and only—computer.” page 144

It would blow my mind if my cellphone was my first computer. That would be like driving from zero to 100 in seconds. We have become so picky about user interface. We want easy, clean, and simple. The great part is that most of the time we have access to so many options. The even better news is that our options are only going to get better and better. Allowing us to do so many things on autopilot without having to think. With great design our lives become that much easier. My only concern is that we do not lose our capacity to think critically.