An opinion piece by @MacJim

Lately, I’ve been finding myself feeling a little burned out with technology. It’s not that I hate it, far from it as I’m a real nerd, but I’ve been finding myself drifting away from it too.

I’ve previously tried to move away from the Apple iPhone having bought the Punkt MP02 earlier this year (see here) but that proved to be an utter failure, not because it was a bad idea but simply due to the product being half baked, software-wise.

That was a product launched far too early as it was nowhere near ready for public use… the software being an early Beta rather than a Gold master release; that mobile phone was returned the day after it arrived. So I sold my iPhone 7 Plus and bought the Xr; not because the Xr was a great phone but simply due to the deal on offer at the time made it a no brainer choice.

Fast forward to September and I found myself looking at the Light Phone as a possible replacement for the iPhone: a minimalist mobile phone from thelightphone.com. It is a mobile phone that only allows you to text and make calls, (and listen to music too) but I decided not to buy partly because it wasn’t that long ago that I’d bought the iPhone and I felt I couldn’t justify paying the price (the iPhone Xr would have become a very expensive iPod Touch), but also due to the last experience with the MP02.

Looking at my rather battered iPad Pro, I again started looking at alternatives as this device was struggling to cope due to the amount of data stored in it, where I was constantly juggling with apps, images and reading material deleting wherever I could to get back space.

This iPad was not a cheap purchase, and it was worth the price at the time, but with these new iPad Pro’s I really struggle to justify the price to upgrade as it would cost me around a grand or more, almost double the cost of my current iPad.
While I’d get double the HDD space, it would only be double my current machine’s 32Gb’s which would soon be filled up; just like the old one. So this had me looking at the alternatives, not at the lower end iPads but at the competition in the form of the surface pro 6, and latterly, the new 7’s.

Forget about the old arguments around the differing operating systems, one being a full OS and the other a mobile phone-based OS (yes, iPadOS is kind of different than iOS but it’s still iOS), it all boils down to what I need from a device that suits me; the Surface Pro 6 & 7 tablets appear to fit my needs… I love my iPads but they are not laptop replacements.

At this point, you’ll be wondering where the title of this piece comes into play… well, now.

For some time now, I’ve found myself feeling a little burned out over all these new technologies. I’ve been less impressed with each new toy announced by Apple and some other manufacturers too. Admittedly I was very impressed with some of the new Microsoft devices such as the new Surface Pro tablets, especially with the Surface Pro X which I think will give Apple some real competition to the iPad Pro models. Also, the Duo and Neo were probably the most impressive devices announced this year that I think will shake up Apple to rethink the iPads and iPhones.
But with all of the above, I’ve been finding myself staring at the iPad screen blindly going from app to app to app… with no real idea what I wanted to do. Yes, sometimes I find myself doing something constructive such as this (you say “this is constructive?”), or editing photos in Snapseed, or even occasionally reading stories saved to Pocket and PDF magazines but more often than not just wasting time: time that is becoming ever more precious as I get older (soon to be 63).

Even my MacBook Pro sits unused most of the time, the iPad being easier to pick up and waste the time on. So, what to do? Do I sell my iPhone and iPad and buy a Light Phone to get back to basics forcing myself to use my MacBook more?
That would force me to get back to reading a book, you know, those paper things you may have on a shelf somewhere nearby. Force me to stop aimlessly browsing the web when I should be looking up and outwards seeing the world around me? Force me to ‘talk’ to my friends: if they can get their noses out of those mobile screens that they have them stuck too… who knows, will I, will you?

James Ormiston

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