How The iPad Empowers

Really, just STFU already.

Now the eejits are on about how the iPad doesn’t “empower” people.

Some people should not be allowed to comment on “empowerment” vis-a-vis the iPad unless they’ve lived in the pre-Internet, pre-desktop computer era.

I have. And I’m here to tell you about it.

The world before:

1) Turn on TV
2) Watch program
3) Like program
4) Want to tell TV station
5) Find paper
6) Find pen
7) Look up TV station address
— this is not easy
— where do you find it while at home?
— do you call the TV station?
— that’s a call to Information first
— and if you call the station, then why write?
8) Find TV station address
9) Write letter
10) Find envelope
— if no envelope, go outside to buy
11) Find stamp
— if no stamp, buy stamp
— be sure to get to post office while it is open
— it closes at 1PM on Saturdays
12) Fold paper letter
13) Seal envelope
14) Wet and stick on stamp
15) Address envelope
16) Mail by going outside to a mailbox
— if no nearby mailbox, carry letter for a while

And yeah, I went through all those steps in real life. And yes, I could have compressed the end steps by bringing the damned letter to the Post Office, so sue me. Life worked just the way I’ve described it above. People are not efficient machines.

The iPad world:

1) Turn on iPad
2) Go to TV station site or launch a simple app!
3) Watch program online
4) Like program
5) Want to tell TV station
6) Send email via link or Comment on message board

And if you think what the iPad does can be done just as easily without it, here comes reality to bite your techie ass.

The pre-iPad Reality:

1) Turn on desktop PC
2) Go do something else for 5-10 minutes
3) Go to TV station site
4) Find out Flash needs update
– update Flash
4a) Find out browser no longer supported
– upgrade browser
– or abort!
4b) Find out custom video player download needed
– download player
— or abort!
5) Watch program
5a) Find out new browser makes video skip!
– abort!
5b) Find out player program won’t work!
– abort!
6) Watch program
7) Want to tell TV station
8) Send email via link or Comment on message board

And yes, I’ve been through those abort! steps with my damned desktop PC — including not being able to upgrade the browser because my PC is too weak (as it is for millions of other people too — welcome to Reality 101!), finding out video skips on some sites (as it does horribly for me on Vimeo, sometimes on YouTube, and plays worse than a slideshow on Hulu!), or deciding one more piece of crapware isn’t worth installing just to see a TV program (like with ABC’s player!).

So, I don’t know how you measure “empowerment,” but I’d say your method of measuring it is all screwed-up.

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