Wednesday, March 31, 2010

iPad Hype: I Can't Take It Anymore!

WARNING: This is an acknowledged rant and does not necessarily have any meaningful connection to rational thought processes.

Ok, I understand that living in America in 2010 it's impossible to deny the cultural influence of iPods, iTouches, iPhones, and the rest of the "i" family of products. They're everywhere, and even if you manage the triumphant achievement of not owning any of them, they're still engrained in conversations and an undeniable part of the larger social consciousness.

And so it is also with the forthcoming iPad. Unless you're living the dream and residing in a mountain cabin cut off from civilization, you're unmistakably familiar with the new device. Every day for weeks, news headlines in print, on television, and in online RSS feeds have covered every possible aspect of the iPad. Never has so much been discussed about a product that no one has ever seen.

This is not one of my typical anti-Apple tirades. I have no opinion about the iPad and place no value judgement upon it in this embryonic stage. I'm just immensely sick of the fact that when I check my technology news headlines each morning, EVERYTHING is drowned out by the iPad!

Really, I can't take it anymore. I'm almost missing the maniacal conversations on blogs, the derisive commentary by Redditors, and the inane Twitter replies of anonymous followers. Instead, the social media landscape has come to a standstill and the only conversations taking place revolve around - you guessed it - the iPad.

If I was a PR consultant for Apple, I would have been thrilled by this hype a few weeks ago, but by now I'd be worried. We've reached the point where if the iPad fails to bring about world peace and align the planets in universal harmony, it's going to be seen as somewhere between a disappointment and a failure. It's been so completely overblown that short of fostering a new technology revolution, the company's stock price is sure to fall.

But I don't care about any of this, and that's the real point. Memo to CNN, David Pogue, TechCrunch and the rest of the media, both Old and New... leave me alone already. Some of us are more interested in following actual news events and can only stand so much of hearing about a gadget that remains, at this point, defined solely by potential rather than actual effect. This thing, as far as our mainstream experiences are concerned, doesn't even exist yet! I need reporters to cover stories about cyberwar and sexting and Chinese censorship; you know, things that are actually happening!

I understand that in the tech world, some of this hype is inevitable. I'm just calling for some proportionality. Until that happens, if any caring reader would like to make a donation of buying me a helmet so that I don't injure myself whilst banging my head against the wall, it would be much appreciated.


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