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iHave an iPad, but at what Cost?

I have a new post at Her.meneutics, the women's blog of Christianity Today. It begins: We don't watch much television in our household, but my husband and I both find ourselves wed to the computer. I was looking through a photo album with our daughter last week, and we came across one from her infancy. She's swaddled in a pink and white striped blanket, asleep on a pillow between her dad and me. The camera, wielded by my mother, caught both of us on our laptops, typing away. Penny is four now, and her teachers tell me that when she sits at the computer in their classroom, she doesn't want to play games like the other kids. She wants to type. Or, as she explains, "I want to work like Mom and Dad."

As of last week, our gadgetry consisted of two laptops, two iPhones, an iPod, an iPod Nano, and an older iPhone that we handed down to our children. Even William, 20-months old, is becoming adept at sliding his thumb across the little screen to navigate towards photographs or games. Our kids will grow up with touch-screens as a cultural assumption, as normal as eating soup with a spoon or driving to the store in a car or sleeping in a bed.

Now we've got an iPad too. As far as I can tell, it's a big and very impressive iPhone. It's a little heavy, but it moves more quickly than any computer I've ever seen. We watched Lost on it last week. The picture quality was clear. The screen never skipped or froze, as it often does when we watch on a laptop. As a viewing experience, it was great.

And yet, I have to wonder: at what cost? Somehow, my husband convinced his employer to buy the iPad for him, so we didn't shell out the $499. (Last year, he convinced them to buy him a Kindle, so we've got that too.) I still haven't seen his written rationale for the purchase. He tells me the iPad is the wave of the future. He says it will replace laptops and change the way information travels. And he may be right.

But before we ride that wave to wherever it carries us, I want to stop and think about it... To continue reading, click here.

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