I think most people would agree that Apple products have generally made the world a better place – none of them are truly unique, and there would always have been an alternative way of achieving whatever task they are designed to carry out, but some Apple devices have been truly trailblazing, and it’s easy to see why the brand has some very dedicated fans.
But what about the people who find it hard to put their Apple device down? Is it healthy to have a Mac, MacBook, iPad, iPod and iPhone all within arm’s reach?
In short, do the benefits outweigh the risks, or does an over-reliance on Apple products potentially not keep the doctor away, but bring him even closer?
Perhaps the riskiest of all Apple devices is the iPod, as it effectively blocks out one of your senses while you are out and about – and that leaves you open to accident, injury or even worse if you are unable to hear engine noises and warning alarms.
That’s an extreme example, though, and for most users it’s just a question of whether time spent using Apple devices leaves you at risk of missing out on some ‘real-world’ activities.
I was so concerned about this that, in the end, I decided to sell my Apple iPhone and go back to a fairly bog-standard feature phone instead – and I was amazed at the impact doing so had on me.
Firstly, my iPhone had been my media player, so I immediately relieved myself of that strange kind of enforced ‘deafness’ that comes from having loud music in your ears wherever you go.
It had also been my go-to device for maps – with the result that I almost immediately got lost, the next time I tried to go somewhere unfamiliar.
With no internet-enabled device at my side, I couldn’t even log on to check online directions, let alone get a GPS signal and directions tailored to my specific location – which would have been helpful, as I didn’t know where I was.
The thing I rediscovered, though, was the sense of adventure – the fun and sheer nonsense of getting lost while trying to get somewhere, the experience of actually hearing the world around me, and so on.
At home, I had no choice but to keep my Mac for work, but I boxed up the portable devices and put them in the attic, and suddenly the evenings became about family time again, instead of about tweeting my thoughts on whatever show I was watching.
I probably lost a few followers due to my lower level of activity on the social networks, but I gained a newfound appreciation for my family, and a greater awareness of their opinions.
Overall, I’d say most hardcore Apple fans would find it almost impossible to sever themselves completely from the brand – but simply striking a fairer balance between your connected and ‘real’ lifestyles is a great way to get back in touch with who you are as a person.