My iPad Mini Experiment

For a few years, I worked for what I consider and overly-restrictive company. I was unable to do anything on my work computer. As a result, I ended up using my phone for everything—messaging, social media, podcasts, YouTube, etc. It was always on me and always available if I had 15 seconds to fill.

I got an iPhone 15 Pro Max in 2023 and decided that was good enough for me. I sold my 11” M1 iPad Pro and been iPadless since.

Recently, I’ve noticed an uptick in my phone usage and a downtick in my overall attention. I’m a pretty easily distracted guy. In what some might call an overreaction”, I deleted pretty much everything off my phone. Currently sitting at 23 apps. In a shocking realization, I don’t need my phone on me all the time. This is helped by the fact that my current job lets me put pretty much whatever on my work computer. Instead of my phone with me all the time, my Kindle is now with me all the time. A welcome change of pace.

But, sometimes, I do want to do things other than read. After selling my iPad, I would sometimes use my MacBook whenever I felt like I wanted a bigger screen. But, even with a 14” screen, that’s a bit cumbersome when I’m just sitting on the couch and want to look at Mastodon or whatever.

This is when I started missing my iPad. After years of trying to use an iPad for school, hobbies, or any number of things it’s not well-suited for, I have finally seen it for what it was meant to be—a couch computer. I gravitated towards an iPad mini, the perfect couch computer. I started second guessing my need” for an iPad as I was shopping for one. If I’m not really using my phone anymore, why not just put things back on it and use it for leisure too? Will I just start using the iPad all the time and just be back where I was? At the end of the day, it’s a self control problem, not a device problem. I decided to ignore myself and buy an iPad mini anyway. I kinda just wanted one.

My current thinking is that dedicated devices for specific activities can help with attention and self control. That’s the hope at least. I ultimately decided that I don’t want time wasting stuff on the phone because I don’t want it accessible when I’m out and about.

So here’s where I’m at:

  • iPhone for communication and necessary apps for when I’m on the go.
  • Pocket notebook for writing down ideas and thoughts.
  • iPad for watching stuff, social media, and other time wasting activities.
  • Kindle for reading.
  • MacBook for working.
  • PC for games.

May 1, 2024