Do you use your tablet as primarily a secondary device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 31, 2012

As I continue to try and figure out how a tablet can fit into my life (and I’m really trying), I’m left whittling down the options. I see tablets from time to time. In fact, the last time I was in a restaurant (sports bar/grill, really) I saw a guy walk in with his girlfriend, a tablet in hand. He had it in a case, and after a few glances I figured out it was the second-generation iPad. I lost the couple, and the tablet, after that. But, it got me thinking: what on Earth were they doing with a tablet inside a restaurant?

Here I am trying to justify purchasing and keeping a tablet, trying to literally shove a device into my life, and here is this couple just happily bringing a tablet into a restaurant. For all intents and purposes, on a date. Sure, I have no idea the nitty gritty details (nor do I want to know), but for all intents and purposes I’m under the impression the two of them were on a date, and somewhere in that plan a tablet actually made sense.

But I don’t get it. Even when I see tablets at sporting events, actually helping the fans, it still doesn’t make sense to me. But that’s when I saw a commercial last night. It was for some random television show, and they wanted you to “follow along” with your tablet device. After I looked around on the Internet for a bit, I found out that plenty of different television shows do this. Whether it’s an app, or they want you to go to a website and interact with other viewers, all the while the show is running on in the background.

That’s actually a good idea. Sure, for me, personally, I’d never do it. One, I don’t watch much TV; and second, if I’m watching a show, why would I want to take my eyes off the show to do something else? Even if the application or website is helping me interact with other viewers, or giving me some inside scoop on something regarding the development of the show, I would rather actually watch it.

That’s probably why I don’t see the point of bringing a tablet to a sporting event. You’re there to watch it, not watch something else about it.

But, it is a good idea. That interactivity. That connection. And, what’s better, is that you get to do it right from your own device, on your own terms. Tablets are a great secondary device. While there are people out there who would love to say that a tablet can replace one thing or another (and maybe they can, depending on your specific needs), there’s no denying that they make fantastic secondary devices. Using them with a TV show, or a sporting event, or something similar to that, is a perfect example. They are easy to carry around, easy to interact with, and easy to store when necessary.

So, if you own a tablet, do you use it as a secondary device more than anything? A coffee table gadget? Let me know in the comments.