The iPad – first generation.

This iPad I am writing on was released April 3,2010, and is now almost five years old.

Back then, I stood in a very short line of two people at the computer department on that morning’s opening time at my local London Drugs store, my favourite go-to store for just about anything.

Who could know then that this small thing that wasn’t a laptop and responded to touch, would be the start of a whole new generation of tablets and touch generated gadgets? It had a lot of potential, but was unproven at that time, but has proven its worth to me since. I have still only used 48 GB from the 58.1 GB available.

From the first day I loved the little thing. Nobody really knew yet how useful it would be; plenty of people saw many drawbacks for this not-a-desktop computer. It was a toy, they said.

I am really, really happy to have taking the risk and for purchasing my little companion to everywhere. It never has needed repairs and did not break, even when I dropped it, numerous times. The metal back and sides are very sturdy.
For a while I had a rigid plastic, blue clip-on cover for the screen, until I left it behind somewhere at an airport. I have not even bothered replacing it. The transparent vinyl stick-on screen protector seemed to do its job very well. I never have had to replace it yet.

I use my iPad to write short pieces while sitting on my couch, in an airport lounge, or at a hotel, or a cafe, anywhere I want to write. I don’t need a light to see what I am doing. I can read books without bothering anybody else, listen to my music anywhere with ear buds with an excellent quality of sound (I guess also depends on the earbuds), don’t need a wireless connection for my play list, as its battery lasts forever. On my last plane ride it drowned out the crying of the toddler on his mom’s lap beside me with my fave tunes.

When I am at home using my home wifi, answering my email is easy, and even posting on my blog is simple, except for adding photos from somewhere else than from my iPad. So I have ways around that: I look up any photo I want to copy on the internet-Safari first, then save the photo to my iPad.

I took a chance and paid for the top of the line version with option for 3G, in case I would be outside the country without Internet/wifi.
I used that option only on 1 trip to Mexico and bought the Bell sim card for the iPad and put that into the in my tablet with a short term contract, for a month’s duration. It worked great and I felt quite privileged accessing the net, while riding on the ETA bus through Jalisco towards my destination, Guadalajara. The bill came later. I have not repeated that contract, also because most places now seem to have free wifi.

And not to forget, the iPhone had already been developed in 2007 with cellular connectivity, followed by a buying frenzy, which has not stopped yet. Revolutions were video taped on iPhones, criminals as well as the good ones were observed. The demand for Internet wifi and digital data exponentially took off everywhere on the globe with the advance of the iPhone; digital data services are in competition for customers while offering cut rate prices. The date are sent through satellite networks and towers everywhere on the globe at unbelievable reasonable prices (except in Canada, where cell phone rates stay extremely costly for some unknown reason).

Yes, we are connected through our gadgets on a constant basis, all day and all night long, if you stay up late. The gadget has become the biggest time waster in the history of man and woman, and also the biggest time saver, if work needs to be completed at home. It has made an appearance on almost every TV show, even in hospitals and offices, as it is so handy and portable.

The verdict is still out on which side the tablet and iPhone frenzy will end, good or bad for our social life. I only use my iPhone for phoning: I turned off all my data functions and I wait till I am at home to do my Internet accessing and data processing.
I try to limit my time connecting with friends and family through gadgets, I like meeting face to face better, as gadgets quickly can become a substitute. I prefer contact with real people, for which you have to leave the warmth of your cosy home and brace the weather. And for which you have to get off the couch and put some decent clothes on. I fear that isolating oneself with lack of social functionality is too easy to do with spending much time on gadgets.

The first generation iPad had no camera; since that first version, iPads have now all a built-in camera. One can Skype someone now from your iPad, how great is that? For now, I want to go home and see my friends and relatives that are far away through Skype on my home laptop. Skype is fantastic: the FREE alternative to visiting in person. It is imperfect, but great to keep up and talk for a few hours, if so inclined.

A drawback of tablets and smart phones is that people looking down at their iPhone or tablet, regardless of what other activity they are involved in, causing many accidents if they were driving, or walking into cars if a pedestrian. Another drawback is that the headaches are starting, as your head is attached with ligaments and muscles to your body and the strain of extending them for most of the day will cause physical problems.

I am of that generation that feels it is an insult to present company, when you show that others (on your iPhone) are more urgent or important than me, and you have to look and respond immediately. Unless you expect a call to serve at a war, or a riot, or are a first responder of some kind and get that call for your attendance at an accident or a murder, you are NOT excused. Aside from those issues, the iPhone is a great gadget in my book and eases life greatly. I just love watching Netflix on my big screen TV monitor, just so great!

Apple sure changed the social landscape in those five years.


About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
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