I just added the word ‘iPad’ to my dictionary…

I’m mean really… a former English major can only look at squiggly red lines on the computer screen for so long, constantly being reminded that he’s spelled something incorrectly even if it’s not a real word!!! But at some point new words enter the lexicon of popular speech. Apple seems to do it over and over, bastardizing my language with newer, lazier ways of spelling. Leave it to techies and scientists to invent words to make their life better. And then expect others to understand what they’re talking about. But I digress…

This is actually supposed to be about how the iPad (and other facsimiles) is taking over modern-day computing, not how the iPad is taking over my dictionary.

So isn’t the iPad just a big iPhone, without the telephone capabilities? Don’t people usually get pissed off when you take something away from them? Consider 15 years ago; the DVD was announced as a new media format, the Nokia 2110 was the top selling mobile phone, and Jumanji was a hit at the box office. If you had told people that they could have a cell phone but it wouldn’t work they’d probably tell you to stuff it.

I used to think that the iPhone and other facsimiles were the future of digital communication, that they would replace traditional computers. I found an article at Futurelab, though, that illustrates just what the iPad means to technology companies. A pretty nifty graphic supports the growth of tablet sales, supporting the hypothesis that the introduction of the iPad actually caused a negative growth rate in notebook sales. That, to me, is inconceivable… So I guess there’s a certain amount of skeptical acceptance that I have to take on.

So what does the iPad represent, then, if not a marching on of technology? The iPad offers western culture the opportunity to keep on consuming. After all, aren’t we always championing the need for economic growth. If we’re not consuming then our economy stagnates and that, according to the powers that be, will be the end of modern society. Technology has given us the means to fuel this economic growth. In the process we have become dependent on technology for economic growth to occur. Therefore, we need to consume new technology for economic growth to occur. It’s the nature of the digital world we live in.

We thirst after the next Apple gadget because that’s what we’ve been programmed to do. If you want to know my worst nightmare it’s watching someone’s hand shoot up in class and knowing that Apple as a business paradigm of innovation and beauty is just around the corner.

The horizon for innovation just keeps on getting longer and longer and at some point one would think that it would have to stop but realistically it’s in our nature to innovate. Steve Jobs will be remembered as a visionary and a sage and a bastion of innovation. And my dictionary will get longer and longer.

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