Jonathan Poritsky

How Not to Ask an iPad User About the iPad

Perhaps I’m a cur­mud­geon — okay I def­i­nitely am — on the sub­ject of tech­no­log­i­cal social eti­quette, but hon­estly, the nag­ging iPad ques­tions have to stop. The thing has been out for three months now, and there are Apple Stores aplenty to go and did­dle with the thing for the overly curi­ous. Still, I get odd looks and uncom­fort­able ques­tions from strangers all the time. In week one, it was cool; now, not so much.

Let’s be clear here: I’m not talk­ing about a mutual friend, a coworker, a fam­ily mem­ber or a mem­ber of your social graph com­ing over to stroke your alu­minum and glass baby. Those folks can play all they like. I’m talk­ing about com­plete strangers who want you to sell them on the iPad just because they noticed you had one. On the sub­way, in a cafe, stand­ing on the street; strangers have shown no mercy in their quest to learn more about this “mag­i­cal” non-computer computer.

Enough. I’ve had it. Here is a guide to avoid mak­ing iPad users uncom­fort­able, surly and want to go home and write a blog post about how much you suck.

1. Don’t Ask if I Love My iPad

I do love my iPad, for a num­ber of rea­sons, but they are prob­a­bly dif­fer­ent from yours. I don’t love your wife, but I’m sure you think she’s the tops.

2. Don’t Ask Me What I Use it For

That’s none of your beeswax.

3. Don’t Mention “I’ll Get the Next One”

If you’re jazzed about the iPad 2, which doesn’t exist, then don’t ask me about my iPad. You’re mak­ing two social blun­ders when you bring this up: 1) You’re wast­ing my time because you don’t actu­ally give a crap about the iPad and 2) you’re pass­ing a judge­ment on my early adoption.

4. Don’t Tell Me About Your Kindle

I had a Kindle and I returned it, but that’s not the point. I don’t care about your Kindle, and you don’t care about my iPad. Haven’t we cov­ered this?

5. Don’t Say “Sorry to Interrupt You”

Just don’t inter­rupt me.