I don’t need the iPad 2. Why do I not WANT it?
I finally spent some quality time playing with the new iPad 2 at the Apple Store. It was thinner, lighter and faster than the first gen iPad, which was already amazingly thin, light and fast. Clearly an upgrade to all the hardware specs of the first generation. I fooled around with the cool new magnetic cover like an excited monkey that was just given a wallet to play with.
Then I put it down and walked out of the store, without the itch to buy. What??? Not coveting the newest gadget is so not… me.
You know me. I love tech. I love how the latest and greatest feels in my hands. I love that I have something few others have. I love the feeling that I get to be in the cool club, that my toys are the envy of others. I feel good knowing that I’m being the most productive I can be.
If I own the cutting edge, it feels like I am the cutting edge. I love being that tech-fashion trendsetter.
And the iPad 2 is the hot new fashion statement from Steve Jobs – the Gianni Versace of tech. I wanted it before I had even touched it. I wanted it before it actually existed. I was ready to spend real money on a phantom product. For nerds like me, gadgets are fashion. The iPad 2, with its magnetic leather cover, isn’t the “BMW 760LI” of tech. It’s the "Christian Louboutin shoes” of tech1.
Does the digital fashion make the digital man? If so, how can I be seen in public with the iPad 1? Has my beloved iPad 1 become the “Ugg boots” of tech; trendy for a season and now a statement that I’m out of fashion? Here’s how I usually rationalize spending big money on the trendiest tech: Sure, $830 bucks sounds like a lot of money, but when you break it down, it’s only 195 Venti Decaf Mocha Light Frappuccinos.
I have many reasons for wanting to buy the iPad 2. A few of the reasons are even legitimate. Yet, when I think about my personal time with the iPad 2, there’s no lust, no wanting, no yearning. When I played with the iPad 2, there was no spark between my fingertip and the screen. That was my inner child telling me that playing with the upgrade was not “magical.” Yes, it was thinner, lighter and faster. But it did not feel any more special, so it didn’t make me feel any more special.
That’s how I decide what to buy and what to pass on today. Even though I’m still shallow enough to want to impress, I no longer care about impressing you. I only care about impressing me. In a weird way, I’m growing up. I still love the pep I get parading around with the trendiest tech, like a plus-size male model on a digital catwalk. But if I don’t think the gadget was really worth the money, then I’m an idiot for buying into the hype. Even worse, you’re a bigger idiot for “oohing” and “ahhhing” over me. I don’t need to spend $830 bucks on the Emperor’s New iPad. Wanting to be seen with a gadget only because others think it’s trendy feels about as lame as, well, as being seen drinking a Venti Decaf Mocha Light Frappuccino.
So does this mean I’ve finally mellowed, and can be content with my current lineup of personal tech? Hell no. It just means the iPad 2 isn’t going to be my next must-have accessory. But they’ll be an iPad 3 eventually. Ooooooh, I wonder what that will be like? I bet it will be AMAZING.
1 Thanks to Mark Cutsforth on Facebook (or more specifically his wife, for the “must have” fashion accessory. As if I’ve ever heard of Christian Louboutin shoes.