I recently wrote about how I was getting along with my iPad, having owned it for a couple of months. I talked about what I used it for and various plus points and a few negatives, commenting that a more complete report would need quite a few more months experience. Someone close to me made the observation that I had just written facts. My reaction was to agree. It is an electronic gadget and facts seem to be all that was needed. It would appear that I had neglected to say how I felt about the device.
Although this seemed [at risk of sounding like Mr Spock] illogical to me at first, there is some sense in the comment. When I first wrote about my acquisition of an iPad, I explained there was no rational reason to buy one and no problem to solve; I just wanted one. I think that rates as a feeling. I can trace my desire back to seeing a friend playing with his iPhone and having odd and surprising feelings of desire for a device that I did not need, which I wrote about at the time. So, what emotions does the iPad evoke for me? …
First, an emotion that I do not feel is regret. That is good, as this is not a feeling that I like very much. Mostly my responses are pleasure – Apple talk about iPad as being “magical”, which may be slightly hyperbolic, but it does have a very pleasing “feel” to it. I also find it comforting – having this powerful resource/tool at my fingertips, giving me instant access to information, communication and recreation.
We still use the term “PC”, but it is much less common to hear about “personal” computers, even though everybody seems to have one of their own. For me, at least, a PC is a lot less personal than they used to be. From the point that I got a computer that I could carry around [and the first one was like a sewing machine and weighed over 30lb], I felt that the machine was “mine”. In recent years, that has changed. Nowadays, I routinely use two computers – one in my home office and one for travelling. So much of what I need is online that I can work from almost any machine quite comfortably.
My iPad feels, on the other hand, very personal. This feeling is not logical, as its greatest strengths are giving me instant, flexible access to the Internet. But it contains books, documents, my calendar, my to do list and my journal – all of that is very personal.
So that is my emotional reaction to this electronic device. I feel rather bonded to it. It has almost bewitched me to adjust my life to accommodate what it can offer and enjoy that. Maybe Apple’s use of the work “magical” was not so far out after all.