ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Why I have to tread carefully with my iPad.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Wednesday, 21st July 2010
It's one thing to read about it or hear from other people how great it is and to listen and watch (often with envy) while other friends show it off to you.

But it's another to actually own one and use it. Only then do you realise what a transformational thing the iPad is.

|Yes, I finally got my hands on a 64GB, 3G, wifi iPad. Malcolm, my IT butler, brought it over a few days ago and hey presto, I am ready to be iPad-ised.

I am beginning to realise what a scary thing this could be. More than any other gadget I have previously owned, this device could take over my life if I am not careful.

For a few hours after getting it, I forgot the outside world existed. I felt like Alice in iPad-land as I entered and explored the wonderful labyrinth that exists within it.

I bought my first app almost immediately, I went into iBooks and scoured the bookshelves and I filled up my shelf. I tried the free books at first and am now re-reading "Little Women".

I am almost frightened by how much the iPad feels like a book – it is so tactile, so sensuous. The flipping is fun. You can look up words instantly. The illustrations are so mind-blowingly real. The light makes it easy to read at night, even easier than a real book.

I was almost hoping it wouldn't be as good because I am a print champion. But no, I can see myself reading a lot of books on this device and already, my shelf is filling up.

I synced my email, so now I get my email through three devices and I am wondering how to cope. Do I still need my Blackberry and my MacBook Pro? Do I reply on this or do I wait till I get home and write the longer emails on my laptop? Do I really need emails through three sources?

I synced my iTunes and the other night, found myself watching videos in bed. OMG. Something I had sworn not to do, ever.

I carry it with me everywhere and at every meeting, I bring it out. I like seeing my friends go green with envy the way I did when others did it to me.

I even got a friend so excited that he bought, on the spot, the other iPad Malcolm still had in stock. "I have to have it," he said. I haven't heard a squeak from him since.

One however got irritated. "Do you know how many people have done this to me? Show off their iPads. Put it away," he said.

You see, that's the frightening thing about the iPad. It turns you into an unbearable boastful being and an obsessive compulsive idiot.

Sure, smartphones have changed the way we communicate but this is not only a game-changer but a life-changer.

As I said earlier, if I am not careful, it could change my life in ways that may not be positive. Every moment I have I switch it on and I flick, flip and fiddle with it. I have found myself walking less, thinking less. I am constantly doing, reading and reacting and I am not sure that's healthy.

My dog needs me to walk him. My work needs me to think. My life needs me to breathe.

I can empathise with Peter Bregman who, in his article in Harvard Business Review on "Why I returned my iPad", wrote, "A little more than a week after buying the iPad, I returned it to Apple. The problem wasn't the iPad exactly, though it has some flaws. The problem was me."

Yes, I have to resist i-Padisation or my life, as I know it, is over.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.

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