We didn’t think there was a bigger tech sin than recording a video in portrait mode. We were wrong. On the bus late last night, I witnessed the greatest user horror. Don’t do this. Ever.
On a late night bus from Washington to New York, I chose to sit next to a young, kind-looking woman with a new iPad. I figured anyone with a new iPad couldn’t be mentally ill, so there wouldn’t be any risk of mid-voyage psychosis or a racist rant. I was wrong — she wasn’t crazy in the “I’m going to eat your face in the middle of Miami sense”, but what happened was worse: she held her very expensive tablet computer mode upright, causing the movie she watched to letterbox itself with massive black bars. It took up about a third of the iPad’s luscious screen. It was tiny and stupid and infuriating. I tried to look away — to look at anything else.
But her screen was a vortex. Was this masochism? Did a fullscreen movie hurt her eyes? It defied explanation, and the rumbling of the bus was almost overwhelmed by the cataclysmic vibrations of Jobs turning over in his grave. Truly, this was one Apple customer who was, in fact, holding it wrong.
Her film choice — A Dangerous Method — seemed apt, but even Freud and Jung would have been baffled. She simply wanted to use her iPad in a stupid way. I took a terrible grainy picture, too afraid to use the flash, but too afraid to let this go undocumented. If you see this happen in your own life, please be brave enough to intervene.