Ipads in society

Posted: November 19, 2010 in Digital Technology
Tags: , , , , , ,
Behold the iPad in All Its Glory

Image via Wikipedia

I was in a restaurant a few nights ago (celebrating my graduation from university, might i add!) with my parents, and my mum spotted a woman on a table behind us who had brought her Ipad with her to dinner.

Now we thought this to be quite an interesting, but odd sight, particularly as it was only the second time i had been in a room with someone who actually owns one of these devices. For some reason she kept wandering round the restaurant with her Ipad, maybe she was showing it off, i don’t know! We thought it was a bit strange to bring such a huge device into a restaurant,  as it barely fitted into her handbag!

My mum pointed out that anyone could see what she was doing on it, what with her waving it around for the whole restaurant to see and the fact the screen was quite bright and therefore stood out in the dimly-lit restaurant.

I wonder how practical these Ipads really are, as they are quite large and cumbersome…. its not like an Iphone which is smaller and more practical.

To be fair, anyone who can afford to buy an Ipad while they are still uncommon in everyday life is bound to show it off, even at the risk of showing everyone what they are doing on this stupidly expensive and large device. And showing off is exactly what this woman was doing, parading it around the restaurant. She was with a fairly big  group of people, so why she had brought it with her i don’t know. I would have thought a restaurant was hardly the sort of place where you need to check on stuff like emails and so on, its more a place where you want to relax and enjoy your dinner without worrying about stuff.

No-one else seemed to need gadgets at the dinner table (there was the odd person on their mobile but that’s fairly common these days), and it seemed like the woman was distracted and a bit distant from her group because of this device which made her stand out. This doesnt seem like a good thing, and i for one would be annoyed if someone i was dining with decided to bring their Ipad and fiddle with it all through the meal, when i want to talk to them with their full attention focused on our conversation.

I really hope that Ipads don’t start to invade our lives too much, as they are only isolating people from real life, and at the moment they are so expensive that very few can afford one comfortably, and once people have got used to them, i’m sure the novelty will wear off.

I am quite divided because Ipads do seem more practical and less cumbersome than a laptop, but less practical than a mobile phone. I think its ok if you want to use it purely for working or whatever while travelling, but they shouldnt really be used in restaurants and other places where you don’t really need them.

What does everyone else think of this?

  1. azsalsman says:

    I agree that these gadgets can be addictive and that we can rely on them forgetting the basics of actually connecting with people face to face.

    However, it depends on the person and what they use it for as to whether a restaurant is appropriate or not. It is a “relatively” new invention so there has not been a “norm” associated with it. The same thoughts could be said about cell phones – esepcially when they first became popular – should people just wander around in puplic talking on a phone? Is there a time and place just to leave the contraption at home, and talk with the people around you? Stuff like that.

    An Ipad can serve as an eReader and one might sit in a restaurant to read while they eat, perhaps.

    Interesting observation and worth pondering.

    • bluecloverbelle says:

      Indeed, it does depend on the person, if they want to use their gadgets in public then that’s fine, as long as it’s appropriate to the setting and situation.
      I guess you’re right in saying that there isnt yet “a norm associated with it” – one wonders how people and society will adapt to having such gadgets in the public domain once they gain in popularity. Mobile phones introduced a whole range of social norms which some people accept and others don’t. Again, it depends on the person.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. […] (I’m not going to describe the Ipad, i think it has enough airtime as it is! It would be boring to harp on and on about it when most people know about it anyway! and for my earlier posting on the Ipad see Ipads in Society) […]

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