User Error?

The image above is a tweet that really struck a chord. Not because it may or may not be true, but because it is so cut and dried in its delivery.

I think it isn’t the tool that decides how it is used. This is especially so with the iPad.

David Sparks has written a book about the iPad being used in work situations. Dave Caolo has written a book about the iPad and business productivity. Patrick Rhone wrote the draft manuscript of enough – the book, that is – in iOS. Stephen Hackett neatly displayed his minimal writing setup that consisted of an iPad and an old-school keyboard.

I discovered Matt Siegel’s tweet on my iPad. I’m writing this post about said tweet on my iPad.

We could argue that there are such a wide variety of apps for so many uses on the iPad that procrastination on the device is a result of the sheer amount of apps being fiddled with by its users. But I don’t think that’s the argument here. I think that Siegel is saying that the iPad is used for consumption more than anything else (as many others have said before him), and that through that consumption the users wind up procrastinating.

No matter the argument, the device is not the culprit. It is designed to act as (or replace) any number of the following (and more):

  • A word processor
  • A day planner
  • A television
  • A gaming platform
  • A book
  • A telephone
  • A diary
  • A calculator
  • A newspaper
  • A magazine
  • A weather vane
  • A telegraph
  • A camera
  • …and more.

I don’t use my iPad as all of those things. I use it as some of those things some of the time, and I actually don’t use it as some of things ever.1

Siegler is neither wrong or right about the iPad, because it is all dependent on whose hands the device is in. Its use is subjective.

And that is the best part about the iPad: It is made by Apple, but defined by its users.

1A camera, for one. Because I still have the original iPad.