>The iPad, causes and Bandwagons


I figured that if I put "iPad" in the title here, it would do one of two things: provide an example of my topic of discussion today and get hits on google. 

Let me begin by telling you that I honestly think that the iPad is a crappy excuse for one of those new iPod touches that has the exact same layout, functions and stereotype but none of the perks (for now, at least). "oh, but Hamilton, it has Wi-Fi and 3G access!!" Well, it WILL have Wi-Fi and 3G access... in late March and April, respectively. 

It's actually more brilliant than most realize, and for the people who already think it's brilliant because of it's design and function, they will find that it is for different reasons than they think. There is this terribly cliche word that describes people who already posses one of these iPads, and that word is "Bandwagon." It describes men and women in most facets of life, but this recent "innovation" brings the whole concept into a visceral light for those who aren't blinded by its shiny exterior.

I've seen so many people jumping on bandwagons instead of thinking for themselves (I DID go to Lee, you know) that I've become immune to most causes that come out. This may or may not be a bad thing, depending on the nature of the cause, but for the most part I simply can't get on board without feeling at least slightly hypocritical. When I was a junior in high school this wonderful organization  called To Write Love On Her Arms was making its appearance in the US and it was relatively unheard of. I read the story and the mission statement and realized that this was an extremely valid cause, one worthy of my support, so I bought a shirt. I wore this shirt in public places partly because it looked sweet, but mostly because I believed in the cause that it stood for, that is, until I went off after my senior year to Lee. I walked into my first class and immediately was grateful that I hadn't worn that shirt because if I had, there would have only been 3 people not wearing TWLOHA apparel. I came to the disappointing realization, upon striking up conversations about it that it was no longer a cause that was fought for, it was now a trendy divulgence into something that was "cool" rather than something that was beneficial. People wore the crap because they saw that guy from that band or because they knew they could get chicks if they looked sympathetic to emotionally distressed guys and girls...

That began my disdain for causes, not because of the causes themselves, which are most of the time noble and extremely valid, but because of the people that support them. Tom's shoes, TWLOHA, inspiRED, "The Cove" and a myriad of others can be found on a disturbingly typical website http://www.causes.com and are examples of this disturbing generalization of what used to be extraordinary things. 

Perhaps I'm trying to say not to buy this iPad crap simply because it is an apple product and you're trying to look like a hipster, or maybe I'm trying to tell you not to buy it yet so that I can laugh at you when I see you tweet how unfair it is that the new 3G iPad came out and you have to buy it again because you had your iPad on pre-order for 3 months before it came out. I think what I can ultimately say about this message though is that you need to not let the mass opinion sway your decision to do something, however popular or unpopular it is, but rather let your reason, logic, and convictions (from whatever source yours are coming from) be the factors that decide such issues. After all, the last thing we need in this culture of followers is another bleating iSheep. 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.