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A.T. Faust III
| April 13, 2012
I Love My iPad, But I Hate What I've Become
I wasn't always such a lazy bastard. In late 2009, I was in the best shape of my life. I was running five miles a day, lifting five days a week, and enjoying a diet free of French fries, burgers, and baloney. For the first time in years, I felt good. [caption id="attachment_291548" align="aligncenter" width="586" caption="Before. "][/caption] Since then, I've managed to quit all my cardio, start eating like an idiot, and gain a whole lot of weight. I still lift almost every day, but the rest of my previously active lifestyle is destructively (and decidedly) down the drain. [caption id="attachment_291552" align="aligncenter" width="619" caption="After. "][/caption] As groundskeeper of those crumbling temple walls, I should blame myself. But I don't. I blame Apple. After the iPad arrived in 2010, everything changed. Computer business became computer pleasure, and my entire workflow -- both professional and personal -- drifted together inside this single, smooth, glass-and-aluminum package. The entire Internet was a quick tap away, and my online obligations no longer tethered me to the cluttered home office or bade me plug in the hefty laptop under some dirty coffee house table. I was free. And my bed was comfy. It didn't take long to discover the superior ergonomics of reclined iPad use. All you need is a decent pillow and a generous gut. Unfortunately, I had both (albeit the latter would grow much bigger in the many months to come). More and more, the bed became my workspace, and -- with the TV remote and mini-fridge close at hand -- there was little reason to get up and out and on with life. Landing my job at AppAdvice didn't help, either. It merely gave me another excuse to
lay buckle down and stay glued to my iPad. Indeed, I wrote my first 300 articles under the covers. Between Mobile Safari, Pages, iA Writer, and PhotoForge, I had everything I needed to keep my thumbs busy and my back nice and rested.
And that's a good thing -- A rested back should be a positive boon at the gym, right? Two birds with one stone!
Well, it didn't quite work out that way. My deadlifting suffered, my squats petered out, and everything else pretty much plateaued. My knees hurt, my elbows ached, and my back was a creaky, cracking mess. It hurt to get out of bed. Worse, it hurt to get into bed.
My iPad was killing me.
I had to act fast. I'd come too far with my physical training and overall transition to responsible adulthood to let this handheld, connected computer bring it all crashing down. After all, this was real life, not a Philip K. Dickian cyberpunk dystopia. And I'm a real, flesh-and-blood being, not a conflicted, emotional android or implanted technophile. Yes, the iPad was getting under my skin, but not literally. Not yet.
So I took my humanity back.
Lately, I've been turning my iPad off and turning my life around. I still use Apple's tablet for a half-dozen hours a day, but I've been better able to cut the cord(less) and jack up my heart rate with activities other than Super Crate Box and Infinity Blade.
It's springtime now, and it's nice outside. Sometimes, I thank my lucky stars that it's hard to use an iPad in direct sunlight. Screen glare is a lifesaver, and washed out pixels let me wash out my soul.
I'm going fishing.
I only hope I'm not just trading addictions...