Congratulations, You Spent Money On Something From Apple!

Ren Willis
This Is My Tech
Published in
5 min readSep 21, 2018

How a blog post from 2010 is still relevant today.

The following is a blog post I wrote in 2010 when the iPad was first released. Seeing people standing in front of reporters getting their photos taken today with their new iPhone Xs purchases reminded me that after more than half a decade, not much as changed:

I saw a photo yesterday, a photo from Saturday’s launch of the iPad that struck me as so powerful, so telling, so full of so many words, quite possibly a thousand, that I feel compelled to share it with you now. It was embedded in a flash slide show, but screen shot and crop later, I had this…

It’s from this news site. Now, let it be known I have nothing against the purchasing of gadgets or the iPad or anything like that. You want an iPad, you got $500 or more to spend, by all means go buy one. But… people, c’mon, let’s not pretend like the purchasing of the gadget is something it’s not. Don’t know what I mean? Let’s break this down. First, the guy who bought the gadget.

LOL, kinda drew a penis there, didn’t I?

Not only is he wearing a “Rocked To The Core” or possibly “Rocket To The Core” shirt along with his “Smug Mug” camera strap, fine, whatever, but he walks out the store, raises his hand, “trophy” in hand, cheering, as if he just accomplished a feat! Dude. You waited in a line & made a purchase. That’s life, one line after another, most of them resulting in purchases in some form or another. This is not an iPad phenomenon in any way shape or form, we saw it with the iPhone, we saw it with the Motorola RAZR, we saw it for beanie babies, tickle-me elmos, Wii’s, etc, etc, etc. Most of those items are either collecting dust or sitting in a landfill somewhere.

How sad is our culture that we see buying some “thing” as an accomplishment to be rewarded and recognized? But hey, it’s not just him! Look at the employees! No, not the “hot blonde” who is playing the cheerleader staring at the “football” that just won the game or something, no… I’m talking about the other guy.

Look at his glee! He’s not happy for red there, no he’s looking beyond him, at the crowd, egging on the applause! Validating the consumer’s sense of accomplishment and encouraging the crowd to do the same, which will then give them that same feeling of “having done something special” when they finally get their gadget. I mean, look at the guy who’s next.

Oh, he’s applauding… but he’s “next”, he knows his moment is about to come. He looks proud for the other consumer but also “knowingly waiting in the wings” for his own moment.

Yes… enjoy your moment Bob, enjoy it while you can, it will be fleeting because soon, SOON, I will have my own iPad! MUWAHAHAHAHA!

Funny. I typed Bob, then remembered there was a caption, read and saw his name is Robert. How funny. Anywhosaldosal, we ain’t done. Check out the guy in the back.

Really? THIS is a mobile photo/twitter/facebook memory/status capturing moment for you? Watching Bob come back from “the hunt” with his kill raised up high?

@freindnotatapplestore omg, store open! buying my iPad soon!

As telling as this photo is about the odd creatures that are called humans, my favourite bit of the photo is the following:

Rumpelstiltskin? A gnome? Gollum, peering out from behind to get a glimpse of Precious? Not sure, but whoever he his, I think he works for our evil eye-browed “next in line” guy. A kind of “Igor Arrangement” I believe.

*doing my best Igor impersonation, it’s pretty awesome*

Strange, we are, aren’t we? Why do we wait in lines to get our hands on something we know, we KNOW, will be easily available soon enough, AND cheaper, AND better, AND faster! I mean, take the iPad, maxed at at 64gbs, no USB, no 3G, no camera, no serious multitasking, etc, etc, on this release, for at least $500? How many of you spent that much on the first generation of RAZR’s? Now, they give them away as doorstops!

I learned a long time ago not to be an early adopter, how much money did I blow to be the first to get something that would be a million times better & cheaper only a short time later.

I remember back in college, friend of mine showed up to school with what looked to be an ugly cigar box, but what it actually was was a digital camera that took really bad 640 x 480 VGA quality photos, no flash, for over $2000. We marveled. Now, I can go to CVS, get a 2mb camera that fits in my watch pocket of my jeans for a few bucks.

Look….. I love you, early adopters. Because of you, Apple, Nikon, Shimano (see Di2 electronic shifters), etc, etc, etc get lots of money for more R&D to make the products faster, cheaper, and better later on, so I’m not against early adopters, but man, I do find the whole thing fascinating!

We really are funny creatures, aren’t we?

I tell you what’s not funny, Brettling’s Spring 2010 mixtape called “Walk”! It’s just fucking awesome!

Nice segue, eh?

Ren Willis