My previous iPad was purchased in 2012, and throughout its nine years with me, it has been the source of countless hours of information, education and entertainment. It has also been an indispensable work tool in the development and maintenance of the blog that you are reading now.
With my iPad, I’ve sent hundreds of emails, listened to hours of music and read several books. I’ve binge watched shows on it when I wasn’t feeling well. I’ve passed time with it in airports (long before Covid-19 came along).
To me, the iPad was probably one of the best inventions ever, combining so many devices in one, enabling me to travel lighter, especially when I commuted to work by bus. My bad back appreciated this device many times over.
You would think that I could accept that a nine year run with any technological tool is an amazing feat these days, but there is a bit of a stubborn streak within me that just couldn’t bring myself to make that admission.
It’s not that I am super cheap or that I have an aversion to new technology, but then again I wouldn’t consider myself an early adopter either. Either way, I held off as long as I could until it was no longer possible to postpone it.
The stubborn me would like to place into evidence that it still worked. There was nothing technically wrong with the hardware. But the problem was all about the operating system and the apps. They just wouldn’t update anymore because someone decided that they were too old.
As I understand it, the problem is that you can’t take the newest version of the operating system and plant it into a nine-year-old iPad that doesn’t have the newer technology of a more recent model, and expect it to work the same.
That being the case, my generation 2 iPad often crashed from the indigestion of the few remaining operating system updates that were offered to me and would need a few reboots to get working.
Similarly, apps stopped updating, giving me messages along the lines of “we can only update to the last available operating system version”, which left me behind in the dust.
When some apps stopped working, I tried to moderate my expectations, modifying my usage and only using the iPad for what still worked. But as time went on, that list was getting progressively shorter.
But the stubborn part of me was still determined not to buy a new one yet.
However, a couple of weeks ago, I was channel surfing and landed on The Shopping Channel. They were offering an iPad bundle for a pretty amazing price. The pitch was pretty good as it reminded me of all the things that my iPad generation 2 used to do, but wasn’t doing anymore. In realizing that my iPad generation 2 was running out of time and close to becoming an extra serving tray, I decided to take the plunge.
In the time that I waited for delivery of my new iPad, that was when my mindset changed. I actually started to get excited at the possibilities of a fully functional device, and how it will be useful in the coming years, notably my retirement years, when I plan to write more and may be doing more research or taking notes on the fly.
The moment it arrived, I confess, there was no time to do an unboxing video. I tore into it like a kid on Christmas morning.
Over the next couple of days, I added back all of the apps that stopped working in recent years, rediscovering all of the functionality that I had missed.
But deep down, there was still a lingering annoyance knowing that my old iPad will probably take up permanent residence on my nightstand as merely an alarm clock, as long as that app still worked.
My obvious concern is an environmental one in the fact that things aren’t meant to last 30 years the way that they used to. Gone are the days of commercials about the lonely Maytag repairpersons.
In that same train of thought, technology isn’t cheap. It’s not like I can afford to go out and get one every time a new model is released. I am certain that many people share that feeling and circumstance.
It surprises me that we aren’t at a point where technology isn’t more serviceable. How much more sustainable would it be to be able to buy an updated hardware package, slide out an old hardware module, slide in the new hardware, update the operating system and it works like a new one. To me, that would make more sense than throwing the baby out with the bathwater and sending a whole device for disposal.
But more than that, I think that there is a nugget of frustration that someone somewhere is making a decision that an old device shouldn’t be updated anymore, even though people like me are clutching to it as long as possible. It’s technological ageism.
Maybe the reason I am so bothered by this issue is that it strikes a nerve in me about human ageism. While I don’t believe I have faced it yet, it still bothers me that someone might hold the power to make an arbitrary decision that I could be beyond my own usefulness for anything that I may wish to pursue. I just don’t like that power to be in someone else’s hands.
My brain still works, my body still works (well… on most days, when my back doesn’t hurt, my arthritis isn’t acting up and my allergies and asthma aren’t troubling me).
I still pat myself on the back for running my first half marathon at age 49. With a structured training program, I was able to make it to the finish line without injury. I wasn’t about to let anyone say I was too old to do it. Maybe that’s why I still clutch to running as my way of proving to myself that my body is not ready to be put out to pasture yet… much like I hung on to my old iPad.
At the end of the day, I can’t say enough good things about the iPad. My first device lasted me a good nine years, and I hope I get that same (or more) longevity from the second. I am also grateful for having the means to be able to acquire one, even though it was several years between the two devices.
But for many reasons, I believe that the seemingly inevitable obsolescence of technology should be an obsolete concept in itself. I challenge business to think more about sustainability, accessibility, affordability, dependability and longevity.
Did you enjoy this post? If you haven’t already, please check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox. Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,