As Thin As A Pencil: Response to Apple iPad Air Commercial

Before I say anything else, I have to say that I do not like this commercial as much as I like the commercial that features Robin Williams speech from Dead Poets Society. (See that one h I perhaps have some bias, as Dead Poets Society is my favorite movie of all time. However, this commercial did make a very good point, and connected well with Baron’s article From Pixels to Pencils, as well as the first chapter of A Better Pencil. In both of these articles, Baron talks about how every new literacy technology has been controversial, as well as ground-breaking. The pencil is perhaps one of the most common, but often underrated, examples. A pencil, as the commercial seems to be pointing out, is used by teachers, scientists, and artists alike, has produced great ideas and helped create various advancements. But the pencil was once frowned upon, just as writing itself was frowned upon. And each new technology is faced with this dilemma: will the critics out-number the possibility for brilliant ideas to surface? More often than not, the answer is fortunately no. This commercial says the same thing, but also suggests that the iPad has replaced the pencil, or is on its way to replacing it. While this at first may not seem alarming, there is a level of suspicion in such a grand claim. I think that new technologies, such as the iPad (and other technologies like it) are going to continue to add to some of the incredible changes the world sees throughout time. However, I also feel that it can be a bit worrying to think that new technologies are trying to push out the old. This would never worry most consumers, and a company like Apple would never claim directly to be trying to eliminate the pencil, but there seems to be a suggestion behind it (even if the commercial does give some credit to the abilities of the pencil.) The commercial definitely made a strong argument for what this new technology can do, but at the same time seemed to forget to also thank the technology (and people) before it.

On a slightly less important note, I also think the commercial was definitely predictable, because the only thing Apple seems to worry about now is how to make products that are lighter and thinner. This is a good innovation, but it’s also…really boring, after a while.

P.S: If you haven’t seen Dead Poets Society, go do it. Like, now. And ready some Walt Whitman too.

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