My Bag Is Smaller Than Your Bag

August 29, 2012

One of the best benefits of replacing a laptop with an iPad is the reduction in backpack weight and, if you want to spend a few dollars, backpack size.

Study the following picture.

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These are the three primary backpacks I’ve used over the past three years, oldest to newest from the bottom up. The backpack on the bottom is significantly bigger than it looks — it’s just smushed in the photo. To put things perspective, each backpack can comfortably fit the backpack on top of it inside of it.

I used the bottom backpack from early 2009 to late 2010. I didn’t have an iPad until May 2010, and even at that point, I was Apple’s representative at PSU and had to carry loads of stuff anyway. After my work with Apple ended in December 2010, I was free to move onto the middle backpack since I didn’t need to carry a big bulky laptop.

So I went from having to carry a laptop(s), a binder, and schoolbooks, to an iPad, a binder, and schoolbooks. My MacBook Pro was definitely the biggest thing I left the house with, and replacing it with my iPad killed my need for a massive backpack. Keep in mind that I also had to carry a charger and external hard drive with the MacBook Pro. Contrast to the iPad which has a ten hour battery charge — its charger got to stay at home when I left.

Anyway, that lasted somewhere over a year and a half. Late last month I realized that a full-sized backpack was redundant for me. Since the past term I had started buying digital textbooks to read on my iPad, and I took all of my notes in class on my iPad. On top of it all, I was considering outright trying free, online education.

Why in the world did I have a fully fledged backpack when all I went out with was my iPad?

If you revert to the photo at the top of this piece, you might notice a little black sliver on top of the two backpacks. That little black thing is my current backpack. All it carries is my iPad in the main pocket, and my keys and a bottle of Purell in the bottom pocket. There’s just enough room to throw in the charger as well if I’ll be gone overnight.

That’s all I want. That’s all I need.

It’s been less than a month with that tiny backpack and I’ve already noticed the benefits, health and otherwise. My posture is getting better, and I can walk/run faster and more naturally with it on. I don’t take up a whole lot of room in packed buses or trains, and there’s no redundancy to my overall mass.

I say things like “this is the future” a lot, but really, the days of all of us carrying giant backpacks are numbered. As we move to iPads to read books, do homework, write notes in class, and do everything our laptops used to do but better, we’re going to throw our big bags away. There will come a time when people carrying large bags will look like dorks. I give it ten years.

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