I was right!
Last week I was in a meeting at the University of New South Wales and a broad sweeping statement was made that “within 2 years the tablet computer will have replaced the PC with university students”. I rejected this statement, suggesting that perhaps the tablet may become the primary computer for taking notes within class and communications, but that kids aren’t giving up their laptops any time soon.
Judging from my personal usage of smartphones and tablets, there are still too many things that are much easier to do on a computer (such as using formulas in spreadsheets, such as loading up large file sizes, such as attaching documents to an email). Certainly internet enabled mobile devices have increased our overall internet usage, but I don’t think they’ve replaced the computer, they’ve just increased the engagement. Anecdotally, you would have noticed how many people are constantly staring at their mobile phone as they walk down the street. You would have had conversations with friends and family about how people interact less in person these days and instead prefer digital communication. My best friend just told me yesterday that she’d had a swipe at her sister in law for “having her head buried in facebook all day” while they were visiting from overseas.