I met her at the airport.

The connection was riveting. I had never felt anything like it. Sleek, sophisticated, elegant.  She totally blew me away.

I had heard about others who had fallen into this same trap but I had always scoffed it off as having a lack of discipline.  “You’ll be back before you know it”, I would say.  “Just a passing fancy”, I would add with a look of disdain creased across  my forehead.

Why was it different for me? I guess because for me it was so clear that THIS was what I wanted.  Her features seemed to fit with what I most desired as if they had been genetically programmed according to my exact specifications.  For the first time in perhaps a decade – maybe longer! – I was in love.

Of course I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was about to give up (and oh, quite willingly) so many of the things that I valued just to be able to possess her.

When I look back, I, of course, realize my folly.  Hindsight is after all 20/20. Still, a part of me understands the madness and gently forgives.  Her lightness of being; her smooth contours and radiance; just the fact that she could get turned on in the blink of an eye – without as much as a one-minute warm-up – were some pretty good arguments for why anyone would succumb.  At least that’s what I thought at the time.

But in the end I knew that I had to go back because I finally woke up to the realization that as beautiful as she was, I was simply giving up too much to replace my PC with her.

The first real wake-up call  for me was the keyboard dilemma. Although I finally bought an external keyboard, I have to be honest and say that I rarely used it.  It was an appendage that killed the elegance and simplicity.  I realized that my productiveness had dropped a good twenty percent due to that handicap alone.

Then there were all the other important core applications that I couldn’t work on from my iMistress[1] which I kept telling myself that I would take care of when I got to the office – and never did.

Eventually, my inbox became uncontrollable and my other admin responsibilities began to cave in on me, so it was time to make a decision: to iBe or not to iBe.

I weighed the situation as squarely and as objectively as I could and I realized that there were three main advantages for, and two main disadvantages against.  The advantages were ease of start-up (no waiting time), mobility (light-weight and thin) and, quite honestly, the coolness factor (Look at me, I’m a cutting-edge kind’a guy). I didn’t admit to the last advantage for a long time because I don’t consider myself that vain, but after some serious contemplation I realized that every time I would take out my iMistress in a meeting or at a restaurant bar I felt the invisible eyes of envy. Silly, I know.

There are some other advantages as well, such as the active screen and 3G or 4G connection (depending on when you strayed), but I realized that it was the first three that caused me to betray my PC.

The disadvantages however were more serious: It was taking me much longer to get work done and everything that I needed a PC for –  things central to my job – were taking a back seat for esthetic advantages.  The writing was on the wall; it was time to reconfig.

I didn’t get rid of my iMistress in some cheap irresponsible way.  It may surprise you to know that I still visit her quite often – and I’m very open about it with my PC.  As a matter of fact they are bedmates now; they both travel with me wherever I go.  And you know what?  Even if it means keeping a few extra pounds in tow, I find that I’m more productive than ever because now I have the best of both worlds. I wonder if that means that I’m bi? (in terms of platforms that is.)

I will always remember my first embrace with my iMistress, but I’m no fool.  In the end I’m a pretty pragmatic guy.  I guess my PC knew that, which is why, even if I strayed for a while, she’s still there for me, and I’ll definitely think twice and then a third time before I stray away from her again.

 Michael Hoffman, CEO of Atrendia, a company specializing in effectiveness in internal communications has never actually owned an iPad or any other tablet, but he fantasizes about them often.


[1] You may know the iMistress as the iPad – but it might as well have been any of the other hot tomales out there: the HP Touchpad, the Dell Streak, the BlackBerry PlayBook, etc.

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