Avoid The Debilitating Dangers of ‘iPad Brain’

March 3, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Online Marketing

Yesterday, super geeks everywhere were introduced to the iPad 2, a next generation device said to be 33 percent slimmer, 15 percent light and even more feature-packed than the original iPad. Curious, the nice folks at ReadWriteWeb polled their audience to see how many would be running out to purchase the new model once it becomes available.

At the time of this writing, just fewer than 60 percent of respondents said they would purchase the new iPad, either as a replacement or a new device. And just like that, with one press conference, the cult* that is Apple continues to grow, inciting the type of mass hysteria that can only be properly expressed through a comic from The Oatmeal.

Now, I won’t tell you not to instantly judge the losers who will be camping outside the Apple store until the device is released – you absolutely should. Those people are ridiculous. But also consider if you should be judging yourself.

For as much as we mock people who will now run to sell off a perfectly good iPad to buy a new one – how many times have you quit something that worked simply because something sexier strutted along?

  • Did you trade in your high-performing email campaign for a sexier social media strategy?
  • Did you stop blogging so you could dedicate more time to Twitter?
  • Did you quit adding content to your Web site to put it on your Facebook page?
  • Do you spend more time networking online than off?

The answer is you probably have. It’s tempting to stop what’s hard or what feels unsexy as an excuse to run toward what is, but there’s a danger there.

For example:

Sometimes what you were doing actually worked. When your schoolboy excitement causes you to drop it like a bad habit, you stop reaping those benefits and your brand stuffers. It’s disruptive. Will that new thing ever work as well as what you were doing? If you jump without examining its specific benefits and drawbacks, you won’t know until it’s too late.

It prevents you from ever truly mastering the old thing because you don’t stick with it long enough. There’s something to be said (and learned) from becoming an email marketing ninja by continually tweaking email subject lines, experimenting with segmenting, figuring out the best time to send, testing different calls to action, playing with words, etc. But you’ll never achieve it if you don’t push the tactic. Remember when people took the time to really get good at things?

You move without critical thinking. Twitter’s shiny – but is it aligned to your business objectives? What are the associated drawbacks for your brand? How will it complement everything else that you’re doing? Does it makes sense for you to be there or is your time better spent continuing what you’re doing?

We trick ourselves into thinking it’s not the message, but the medium that truly matters. It’s not. What is really important isn’t the channel or the tool that you pick – but the content you’re putting out. Unless you’re an iPad news site, magnets should not get you hot and bothered. Hacking a tool to its full potential should.

There’s a very slim chance that, for all its slimness and magnet power, the iPad 2 will revolutionize anything. Before you jump into the next bright, shiny idea, wait.
Wait until you can think. Until you can decide if it’s appropriate, if it makes sense, if it will allow you to do your job better. Because if it won’t, why the hell are you jumping? Why are you changing course?

*Oh, and please do not tell me it’s a cult. My own brother unfriended me on Facebook because he “only friends Apple people”. MY LITTLE BROTHER!

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