iPad is for consumption, so what?

People think that the iPad is going to destroy a lot of wonderful things about computers: [tinkering](http://diveintomark.org/archives/2010/01/29/tinkerers-sunset) and [programming](http://al3x.net/2010/01/28/ipad.html), [creating](http://www.buzzmachine.com/2010/04/04/ipad-danger-app-v-web-consumer-v-creator/) and publishing. So what does that leave us with? Consumption. Or in other words, being an audience.

I’ve heard this labeled as a problem: something to the clever tune of a “120% consumption rate” or: we have more people consuming than producing content online.

So what?

  • I read much more in-depth articles and stories thanks to the excellent [Instapaper](http://instapaper.com/) app.
  • I have read more books in the past year using iBooks and Kindle than of anything printed on paper.
  • I’ve watched almost all 700 [TEDtalks](http://ted.com/) posted online.
  • I can skim many more RSS feeds thanks to NetNewsWire and Reeder.

In short, I learn more, read more, and find more interesting thoughts and opinions that prompt me to write and share my own.

I don’t see anything wrong with this. In fact, I think this is a great thing. I’m spending more time with higher-quality content than if I were to turn on the TV, throw in a DVD, or spend 30 minutes browsing friend’s photos on Facebook.

Steve Jobs has famously said:

You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.

By this definition, I feel the iPad is a computer and I bet Steve agrees. Many others are categorizing it as a television. People are not simply picking up iPads to turn off their brains (arguably Plants vs Zombies is a game *dedicated* to brains, but I digress), many are also picking up a new device that allows for meaningful consumption.