In Pictures: 10 types of tablet users that drive us nuts
Tablet PCs are valuable devices that can simplify and enhance our lives. But they also bring out the worst in some people. Here's a list of 10 stereotypical tablet users that amuse, annoy and frustrate us to no end.
A couple of years ago, as smartphone mania started gripping the nation—and the world—I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story that spotlighted the funny and annoying ways people use their smartphones. Today, smartphones are nearly ubiquitous, and tablet PCs are the new craze. With tablets come a whole new set of strange, silly and often aggravating gadget-toting characters. Here are the most common culprits.
The Tablet Shutterbug
Forgive the Tablet Shutterbug – he knows not what he does. This poor fella usually has a smartphone with a better-quality camera that is much easier to use than the one in his tablet PC. He may even own a high-end point-and-shoot digital camera. HOWEVER, none of that matters to the Tablet Shutterbug because his camera of choice is his tablet. He can be spotted in public awkwardly holding up his tablet to snap a quick pic. And it's not uncommon for him to drop the tablet while clumsily trying to tap the on-screen camera button. On top of all this, the Tablet Shutterbug never gets any good photos because tablet cameras suck.
Tablet Barfly Guy
Tablet Barfly Guy can be spotted at the end of the bar at your local watering hole, reading and only looking up to order another libation or to see if any other Tablet Barflys entered since the last time he glanced around the joint. The Tablet Barfly is frequently rude to anyone unwise enough to start a conversation—he's at the bar to drink and be with his tablet, that's all. Tablet Barfly Guy is usually a day-drinker, and he'll leave before the evening crowd arrives. But occasionally Tablet Barfly Guy hangs around to grumble at the social drinkers for being too loud and infringing on his precious tablet time.
Obsessive Stylus Girl
Obsessive Stylus Girl doesn't care if her tablet has a multi-touch display that was designed for use with human fingers. The stylus has been her input tool of choice since the days of the Palm Pilot, and she's not letting go. One stylus is not enough, either. Obsessive Stylus Girl has a whole pile of styluses at the ready, she knows the perfect use case each one, and she's prepared to detail each of them for any critics. In fact, Obsessive Stylus Girl is on a bit of a crusade to convert others to the way of the stylus, so it's often better to simply ignore her.
The Tablet Showoff
You know a Tablet Showoff when you see one, because he or she holds up their tablet like a badge of honor. Tablet Showoffs frequently cradle their tablets like small children when walking around. Tablet Showoffs identify themselves, and others, based on their tablets of choice. The Tablet Showoff's natural environment is the trendy coffee shop. And though they may sometimes seem intimidating or standoffish, Tablet Showoffs can be quite friendly—as long as they approve of your tablet of choice. (Tablet Showoffs are often, but not always, iPad users. And most Tablet Showoffs use only cases or sleeves that leave the Apple logo on the back of their iPad exposed, so everyone knows their technology vendor of choice.)
Mr. Ready for My (Tablet) Close Up
Mr. Ready for My (Tablet) Close Up, or MRMTC, uses his tablet to place video calls every chance he gets. It doesn't matter if MRMTC is walking around the city, sitting in the coffee shop or riding the train, if an opportunity to make a video call presents itself, he's all over it—even if a text message, email or regular old voice chat would be more appropriate or effective. If the person MRMTC is communicating with doesn't have a webcam or a device that supports video calls, MRMTC just turns on his tablet's front-facing camera to look at himself during a call. MRMTC can also frequently be heard asking people with awe, "Remember when we used to have to phone calls without video?"
Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case
Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case cares more about her tablet's case than the actual device inside of it. At least that's the way it looks. She doesn't use any specific type of tablet case, but her case of choice always screams for attention. Her tablet protection frequently doesn't even look like a tablet case at all, but some kind of bizarre fashion accessory. And she'll always have the colorful case in hand, not in a bag, so everyone can see what "interesting" taste in tablet cases she has. (Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case also has a male counterpart, but the two are rarely spotted together, for fear of drawing attention away from each other's respective tablet cases.)
It's not hard to spot Dr. Frankenworkstation; his tablet is propped up in front of him on some kind of stand; he has a portable keyboard between him and the tablet; and a mouse or trackpad—or both—sits beside the keypad. Frankenworkstation doesn't use a keyboard case with his tablet, he builds his own workstation with an assortment of peripherals until he has the equivalent of a laptop computer… but much more awkward. He doesn't mind carrying so many gadgets instead of just one notebook. In fact, he'll tell you he likes it. The doctor can also frequently be heard talking about the "post-PC revolution," and how it's only a matter of time before tablets "kill off" PCs and laptops.
The Tablet Lover
The Tablet Lover is abnormally infatuated with her tablet. It's not uncommon for new tablet owners to take great joy in using their gadgets. But the Tablet Lover legitimately loves her slate, in a way that makes her coworkers, friends and family feel uncomfortable and concerned. She takes her tablet everywhere and often has a pet name for it. She thinks of her life in terms of "before tablet" and "after tablet." The Tablet Lover can often be spotted embracing her tablet. And the Tablet Lover is known to say things like, "I wish I could find a man that treats me as well as my tablet."
Sports Fan Tablet Man
Sports Fan Tablet Man, or Woman, loves a good day at the ballpark. But he's not satisfied with the warm sun, a cold beer and a steaming hot dog. Sports Fan Tablet Man needs his tablet to make a sporting event complete. Sports Fan Tablet Man often goes to games without another person; his tablet is company enough. He frequently uses headphones to further shut himself out from others fans. And Sports Fan Tablet Man isn't self-conscious about his game-day tablet use at all; in fact, he'll often purposely draw attention to himself and his tablet by telling strangers how "awesome" a new app is.
Tablet Wardrobe Guy
The Tablet Wardrobe Guy -- who often carries around multiple tablets -- buys clothing not based on style but on its ability to help him tote around his tablets. Unfortunately for Tablet Wardrobe Guy very few clothing manufacturers make tablet-friendly clothes, so he's become adept at sewing. His jackets have custom tablet pockets. He buys cargo pants three sizes too large, with huge pockets, and then tailors the waists to fit. And he owns special gloves that let him use his tablets while outside in harsh climates. (Tablet Wardrobe Guys are also usually single, and have been known to live in their parents' basements.)