Sunday, January 02, 2011

Battery Anxiety

Battery Anxiety.  I may be suffering from it and I didn't even know it. In fact, you may be suffering from it, too. Recently, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of, mentioned this affliction in a recent press release about the Kindle.

Third-Generation Kindle Now the Bestselling Product of All Time on Amazon Worldwide

I happen to own one of those LCD tablet devices he refers to, an iPad, which I imagine is an iThorn in Jeff Bezo's iBottom line.  After reading about this battery anxiety of which he speaks, I now find myself looking somewhat askance at my beloved iPad. Is it really secretly causing me anxiety? Is it creating iSubterfuge, making me worry, perhaps even subconsciously, about its battery life? And to think, all this time I thought battery anxiety is what happened on Christmas morning when you realized Santa had forgotten to go to Walgreen's to buy enough Double-A's to go with all his many battery operated gifts.

I love the way marketing works, implanting in our brains anxieties and worries we didn't even know we should have. As if I didn't have enough to worry about. Now this. Now, Battery Anxiety. Bezos goes on to say the Kindle, "with its paper-like Pearl e-ink display that reduces eye strain, doesn't interfere with sleep patterns at bedtime..." Oh no. Now I'm really looking sideways at my iPad. Stealthily interfering with my sleep patterns? No one gets away with that.  And I know he couldn't be referring to any kind of self-inflicted sleep pattern interference, like maybe when I stay up too late mindlessly trolling Facebook.

On my kitchen counter this morning, I noticed an empty box of Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Gourmet Popping Corn. Annoyed, I started to throw the box away (and yes, I am the only person in my house capable of throwing away trash left out on the counter. Ahem.) when I noticed that at the top of the box it said, "100% Whole Grain."  Really? They felt the need to say this?  Do they think Mom's at the grocery store will look at the Movie Theater Butter Popcorn and think, "Ooh. Whole Grain! How healthy!"  Or maybe they mention it's whole grain to differentiate this product, perhaps from some other, less successful version of their popcorn, which was made with partial grains of corn.

I'm not quite ready to seek treatment for my Battery Anxiety and I haven't noticed any serious sleep pattern interference, but I will be much more wary of my iPad from now on. And the same goes for the grocery store, where I will keep my eyes-peeled for that evil, and clearly unhealthy, partial grain popcorn.

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