Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Does Not Play Well with Others

 Yes, I entered our relationship with eyes open, and by "our," of course, I mean Apple's and mine. He seduced me with his legendary packaging and seamless processing, and after decades of suffering the thralls of abusive PCs---unreliable, erratic, indifferent at best, Apple and I became one.

First an iMac found its way into our living room, next a macbook, and then, boyfriend: a 3G 64 meg iPad with a black leather cover, filling an aching void I could only vaguely identify until we met.

If you are the tiniest bit altruistic, dear reader, when you find something beautiful, something that brings happiness, peace, fulfillment, you want to share it.  This has happened on a global scale as Apple continues to dominate the growing market; this has happened on a personal scale as iPad 2's made their way into my classroom this year.

And now (as in any melodrama worth its salt), the reversal: the Apple Turnover, if you will. My boyfriend has changed. He promised seamless processing, and he delivered seamless processing...when it was just the two of us. He promised that he'd  fulfill my needs---and he did...when it was just the two of us. He's changed. He's ornery, he's possessive: boyfriend does not play well with others.

It's complicated, you see, we're married. I thought he was the perfect boyfriend. Before we met, I dated voraciously on my quest for the perfect classroom companion. I tried a half-dozen netbooks, none of whom were the least bit attractive: some were slow: like trying to talk existentialism with a kindergartener; some were short, barely squeaking out a 3 hour charge; some were just plain cheap, destined to self-destruct within our first year together.

Then, there was iPad2.  Everyone was talking about him, digital natives and immigrants alike. He was gorgeous, intelligent, intuitive, and very, very tall---a 10 hour charge, beyond my wildest imaginings. He could do everything---word process, websearch, multi-task, shoot photos, record voice, capture video. AND exciting, boy was he exciting, sweeping me out of the ordinary to new functions, new apps, new "yes's." And so, I married him.

Then, he changed.

I've introduced him to Dropbox, FilesAnywhere, Google Apps. He hates them all. What's worse, he's passive-agressive. He doesn't say a word to them, but then rejects them outright in a classroom lab setting, refusing to import or export student work. He has decided that he is an island. And as John Donne advised, no man, nor device, is.

Somehow, dysfunctionally probably, I still love him.