I’m tired. No, not tired of life. I eat well, exercise regularly, watch my weight, love my work, have a close family, sleep well, and learned not to stress out over aspects of life beyond my control, but I have noticed that 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough.
What’s wrong? Technology device fatigue. Or, what some might refer to as Apple fatigue. It’s not that I don’t admire Apple as a technology company. It’s not that I don’t appreciate using Apple products. The problem runs deeper than that, but a fatigue nonetheless, and Apple is at the core (pun not intended).
Next Big Thing
Humans have parameters. We can tolerate heat or cold but only to a degree (pun not intended). We can work for days without much rest, but still need to sleep at night. We can eat whatever we want, but if we’re not careful about what and how much, it impacts our health. We can survive a car wreck but fall ill to a tiny virus.
For me, Apple fatigue probably began with the iPad. I’ve been an Apple customer since almost the beginning, graduating from an Apple II to a Mac. Since then I’ve expanded my horizons and experience to cover everything Apple, but included Unix, DOS, Windows, and Linux in the career mashup. Yes, I looked forward to the iPad, but my first thought was, well, “Why?” After all, it was and is little more than a big iPhone. Screen real estate was valuable so I’ve had half a dozen iPads through the years, and– as it did with the iPhone– each one pulled functionality and time away from my Mac, the device that was my first love.
In just the past decade I’ve owned about everything available from Apple. iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watch, AirPods, various and sundry Apple TV models (they’re still a pain to use), and more than my share of accessories and Apple Care. Modern technology is my life and profession and maybe that’s where the problem is.
Too much of a good thing.
Too large an amount of a beneficial or useful thing or activity can be harmful or excessive. For example, The indoor decorations are fine but the outdoor Santa, sled, reindeer, gnomes—it’s just too much of a good thing. Expressed in slightly different form even earlier, Shakespeare used this precise wording in praise of moderation in As You Like It (4:1): “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”
Remember the story of Voltaire’s Candide?
It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply “optimism”) by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, “all is for the best” in the “best of all possible worlds”.
Apple’s one billion or so customers have seen many great things from Cupertino in the past decade, and whatever it is– AR, VR, Apple Glasses– the next big thing must be on the horizon, and while I look forward to knowing what it is, I’m concerned that integrating yet another series of devices– the best of all possible worlds— into my daily routine has left me with fewer hours in the day to enjoy. Poor people lament that they have too much month left over at the end of their money. For those of us in a different economic persuasion, we may have too many technology gadgets to use within the 24 hours God has given us each day.
This first world problem is not unique to me. Others have the affliction but we do not yet have an antidote or a cure. Maybe Apple’s next big thing will be the beginning of the best of all possible worlds. If so, it’s likely to need AppleCare. If not, it’s still going to get AppleCare.