On Social Media and the New iPad

January 29th, 2010 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Photographers have all heard many pros and cons and I am in the resistant crowd, but am reading up. You will eventually see Philip Hyde Photography and Landscape Photography Blogger on Twitter, Facebook and the other major social media. Hopefully Dad will not be rolling over and will understand it is a new era. I have seen some blog posts and comments around about Apple’s much-hyped new iPad tablet that came out today. The iPad is somewhere between an iPhone and a laptop. I respect and admire Steven Jobs for being highly innovative and leading his company to explosive sales and growth off the charts while everyone else is grumbling about the recession. Besides, to me he is like Luke Skywalker fighting against the evil Windows Empire. The iPad is probably a good device for people who use an iphone a lot. In The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz said that in history whenever there has been a major technology change, it is those who embrace it that become the “haves” and those who do not that become the “have nots.” I have been doing what I can to implement and learn all of the new media and technology of the internet online world.

However, I doubt┬áthat sitting in front of computers and other screens most of the day and poking away at small hand-held gadgets every extra moment will improve the quality of my life. What about family, friends, and yes, listening to the birds or the river, and actually having some quiet time to think and clear the mind? Will we become a society of all-brain and no intuition or awareness, knee-jerk, one-liner spewing know-it-all’s? Has anyone done any studies of the health consequences of staring at various screens all day and letting our limbs atrophy? Besides, the more I learn about the internet, the more I notice a tendency toward a disconnect with the real people I know in my life that are not so into it. In 1951, my father, pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, left San Francisco to live in the mountains so that he could get “their glad tidings.” He made a large monetary sacrifice but his life became much richer in all the ways that matter. I suppose everyone needs to determine for him or herself what her limits will be, when ‘enough’ has arrived.



  1. Richard Wong says:

    You make a great point, David. I have no desire to get an iPad nor did I know what it was until I looked it up after people around me kept talking about it. It sounds like a cool toy but one I could live fine just fine without.

    It is hard to keep up with technology. When I overheard some guys talking about Snow Leopard last year before I got my Mac, I thought they were talking about Himalayan wildlife. The funny thing is if I had asked them on what trek they had seen it, they probably wouldn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about either.

  2. Richard, you have me laughing on that one. Perhaps some day the Himalayas can take the Snow Leopard back. Too bad Apple doesn’t give a portion of proceeds to protect the Snow Leopard, maybe they give to other causes, I’d have to look it up. Speaking of large cats, did you know that there are approximately only 3500 wild tigers left in the world? As a member, I get the e-mails from World Wildlife Fund. Tigers are one of my motivators and symptomatic of other species going away, as well, like eventually humans. Meanwhile, people are over here ordering more video games. Seems like they could channel all that pent up creative adventure energy into something positive that could make a difference. Am I too hard on them? I don’t have anything against techies, we need them. What I don’t understand is people who fill every extra second with noise, entertainment, chatter, static, music, games, calls, e-mails, texts, chats, tweets, twitters, twits, tweaks, tweaking, twinkies and two-timing. I hope I don’t sound too self-righteous, because I am certainly far from perfect. I could do better myself too.

  3. Oh, by the way, I even meant to add this to the main post, but I’ll put it here since we’re on the subject of wildlife, Mark Graf on his Graf Nature Photography Blog has a great post about the iPad with an interesting mix of comments from complete techies to nature hounds that talk a bit more like us.

  4. I found your blog via Guy Tol and have been reading through some of posts. Thought I would add my two cents worth on the ipad. I too feel we are a society spending too much time with our electronic devices. I work as a flight attendant and see passengers board with ear plugs and headphones, off in their own little worlds. This past week I had a passenger with a netbook on his tray, a Kindle in his lap, an ipod clipped to his shirt and ear plugs in, and a blackberry on the seat next to him. The ipad could replace 3 of the devices but the sadness was the connectedness to them. I’m also not sure I want another toy/tool to learn and become attached to. I would be better off spending my money on a workshop, photo trip, better glass or taking my grandchildren to lunch.

    I also follow Marks blog, enjoying his images as well as his posts.

  5. Hi Monte, thank you for giving us that perfect illustrative story. When I first looked around on the internet, I was a little worried that it would be full of people like your traveler, but thanks to putting up this blog and reading around on others, I have found a lot of people who appreciate nature and are close to wild places, who also go online. Computers and the offshoot gadgets can help us accomplish amazing tasks, but if we continue as a right-brain-dominated culture that consumes more than we need because we always have to have the latest toy, our days on Earth are over sooner or later, simple as that.

  6. Richard Wong says:

    Very true, David. I would like to see Apple use that branding to actually shed some light on the endangered wildlife. Otherwise what’s the purpose? Who decides to call the software Snow Leopard just for no random reason?

  7. Maybe its a ‘snow’ job, like some other aspects of the computer industry. I am not sure if I have the dates correct, but some time in 2003 or so I read that Windows was going to quit supporting OR EVEN servicing Windows 98. Can you imagine if an auto manufacturer said they wouldn’t service a car that was only five years old? They would never get away with that, yet Windows and many other tech companies make products all the time that they refuse to support, or they charge more than the product cost. Also, the computer industry has taken the planned obsolescence we have seen in automobiles to new levels of ‘con the public.’ Okay, see how I get wound up? Computers do wonderful things and I am not suggesting going back to a time without them, but give us a machine that we can operate without wanting to throw it off of a high bridge. Last year I switched to Mac and it is just slightly better. I saw a skit on some show somewhere where the one guy asked the other, if you could do anything at all and money were no object, what would you do? The other guy said that he would start a company that would guide people to a cliff where they could throw appliances off of that don’t work. The company would also supply explosives to put in the devices as they fell for an even more cathartic experience.

  8. Part of the reason I’m drawn to the Big Bend area of Texas is that it is so very remote.

    I was not entirely pleased when we found out in November last year that cell phone coverage is now extending into Big Bend Ranch State Park… spotty, but it’s there.

    However, if you can keep a secret, I intend to lie the next time I go out there and say to everyone that there’s no cell phone coverage there and don’t bother trying to reach me.

    The quiet and solitude is priceless.

  9. As you say, cell phones have a time and place, and it isn’t in the wilderness. If there is coverage, it is nice to know you have the phone, but I usually have mine turned off, to save the battery. I have it for my own use in the case of an emergency, not so people can call me. My reason for going out there is to get away from all that. Interesting what you say about Big Bend in Texas. My Dad photographed Big Bend National Park a number of times. Mom, Dad and I backpacked in Big Bend. I remember enjoying that backpack. Though it had a bit of the Southwestern desert feel, the scenery was quite different from the Colorado Plateau. I will have to look up where that was. More on that later…

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