Sunday, February 05, 2012

The i-Finger

Starting with the crash of my hard-drive about three years ago, I've made a complete platform switch into the world of Apple. With the exception of one computer (a laptop for my husband's work and to do Quicken on, which doesn't have a good mac program) all our household computers are macs. We have an embarrassing number of "i's" in the house--iphones, ipods, ipads, etc.

IMO the iphone is one of the most brilliantly designed technological tools of the last decade. I recommend it all the time. To me it's a total game changer. Extremely portable, with a wealth of tools available at the fingertips, easy to use . . . brilliant.

I don't feel the same way about the ipad. I sometimes feel as if I'm the only person in the world who doesn't really love it, LOL. It's "cool," but I just don't have the same love for it as I do my iphone. In many ways, it's just a bigger iphone without the phone, LOL. I don't like the reading experience at all--especially compared to my kindle. It's too heavy to hold comfortably in bed with one hand (unlike my kindle) and the backlit screen bugs me. It's great for poking around the internet and reading the morning newspapers (the USA Today App is brilliant). It's also great for watching movies on the plane and love HBO to Go for traveling. But as far as a productivity tool, I don't like it at all. I have a wireless keyboard, and I've attempted to write on it, but I much prefer a laptop and/or the alpha smart. Given the choice between an ipad or that small mac air, I'd take the latter every day of the week. And don't even get me started on flash!

But my biggest concern is for what I call the "ifinger." It happens a little bit with my iphone, but since I don't spend as much time "surfing" with it, I notice it MUCH more with the ipad. After a certain amount of time, the tip of my finger starts to feel numb. If I'm traveling and really using it a lot, I will actually start to get pain in my entire hand, stemming from using that finger too much. I try mixing up the fingers a little, but it doesn't seem to help much. My husband has noticed the same thing, so I know it's not just me :)

It really makes me worry about kids that are spending long amounts of time on these touch/finger devices. I've had discussions with my kids about limiting their time and paying attention to warning signs, but it makes me wonder what kinds of problems we are going to see down the road. I've actively discouraged their use of the ipad in favor of a desktop and/or laptop.

Do you have an ipad? So you love it? Any numb fingers around your house?