Carol Green Ungar

My iPad is DEAD and I’m in withdrawel

With the world on the edge of war, grieving my dead iPad feels self-indulgent at best.

Yes, it died. My iPad mini OH. It had a long life in iPad years. It’s been mine since 2015, perhaps even before, and now, the screen has gone blank for good. I could repair it; five years ago, it slipped out of my hand, and the screen cracked. The Apple store clerk snickered and encouraged me to upgrade.

Instead, I’m embarking on a radical experiment– I’m trying to live without it.  As beloved as it had been, my iPad became a monkey on my back.  I’ll start my day lying in bed, the morning light pouring as  I scrolled through dozens and dozens of seemingly important videos –the algorithm knows that I’ll watch almost anything it’s about styling,  drug store makeup hacks, vegan food, elegance for the elderly, or the Middle East.

I was a loyal fangirl. My favorite creators .Maya, the perky German vegan chef; self-proclaimed expert on quality fashion Jen Wang. military maven Ryan McBeth and even the Lipstick Lesbian have come to feel like friends. Well, why not. We’ve shared many intimate moments–did I mention that the iPad accompanied me to the loo?

I can’t say it was all bad.  My cooking improved, as has my style, my makeup technique and my military knowledge has increased, but all these videos were a huge time sink. (Apple monitored my consumption–at my peak, I blew two and a half hours each day on watching!–that’s 35 days a year!!!!

My video habit has also removed me from an activity I should be engaging in reading. And I’m not alone. A recent Pew Research Center reveals that Americans are reading less than ever (no one measures Israelis). Why? Probably, we are all so busy watching, And that is too bad.

While videos can be junk food for the mind books are brain vitamins. That’s not just while you are reading them. A 2013 study revealed that reading’s positive benefits linger for days, and they are numerous. Did you know that reading cuts stress? Even six minutes with a book causes heart rate to slow, blood pressure to drop, and muscles to relax. That even includes audiobooks—as long as you can focus without interruptions.

Who doesn’t want that?

We all know that reading expands knowledge but it also grows creativity, imagination, and communication skills, and it improves memory, an issue for me at age 64.

And videos? They waste time and money–they are often causing the viewer to buy things they didn’t even know they wanted or needed.  And some content seems designed to encourage stupidity. Ever watched Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel vids?

And yet I miss my iPad. I actually climbed up to the top of my closet to see if there was another one lying around, a risky move for a grandmother. And no, I didn’t find one.

That means it’s cold turkey time– my phone doesn’t allow video access–I can only get YouTube on my laptop.  So bye-bye, Maya, Bye bye, Bethenny, bye-bye Lydia Tomlinson, Angela, Plant-Based School, and all my other video friends. In my new life, I’ll replace you with books and hopefully get smarter.

Wish me luck.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.