All Out Of Ink

February 28, 2012

iLove (or, Riding the Tide of a Trend)

I’ve always been practical, never trendy. I’ve always carefully researched what I wanted and usually decided on products or ways of doing things that were a little less traditional or a little less popular. But I’ve gotten what I wanted out of my decisions most of the time, so I’ve been fine with that.

This time, no. All this changed over a small electronic device.

The first time I got a good look at an iPad was when my sister got one for her birthday. At the time, I wondered what the point was. It was a… computer? without a keyboard. Or was it an mp3 player that was way too big for my pocket? Or was it a giant phone that you couldn’t get a phone number on? Someone said it was a touch-screen e-reader you could use to get online.  I couldn’t figure what good it was if I had all the other stuff that did what I needed.

Then, the more  I thought about the iPad, the more I discovered I wanted to think about it. It was so… pretty. And the way things moved around at the touch of a finger! I have never owned an iAnything, or perhaps my amazement would have been less pronounced. I learned what apps were, and how many different kinds were out there; for every necessary function, there were several to choose from. I found myself drawn to the iPad advertisements online. I started thinking about how nice it would be to own one. I thought they must make keyboards for them.

One day, as I was preparing to head to the coffee shop for some studying and writing, I realized how heavy my giant laptop was and how much more use I would get out of my study tools if it was small enough to take with me.  The times I took it with me, I had to carry two bags. When I left it at home, I inevitably wanted something that was stored on it. This would all be so much simpler, I realized, if I had an iPad.

Of course, other brands had less expensive answers to the iPad.  Some had compatibility with common components that the iPad didn’t boast. Those were appealing… for about three seconds. What I wanted, I came to realize, was more than an iPad. It was a trendy toy that made me look like everybody else. I visited the Apple website. I clicked and stared and smiled.

Where is the writing lesson here? Well, I’ll tell you.  When you are always true to yourself, always practical, and always careful to be specific about your intentions and actions, you will find yourself consistent and your writing honest. But if every now and then, you fall in love with a trend or a market, or you are tempted to toss your true and practical self aside in favor of following what’s in style… Go for it! You just might end up as happy with your decision as I am right now as I click away on this Bluetooth keyboard and watch the words appear on the screen of my beautiful new best friend. My iPad.

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