and now we all hate [insert name here]December 29, 2010
Having bought an iPad for a research project recently I’ve been using it as an alternative to carrying a stack of paper documents to meetings at work. As long as there’s internet access in the meeting room (and where isn’t there?) I can drop the docs I need on to dropbox or Google docs and easily access and edit them as needed. Plus the battery will outlast even all day meetings. Nice use of the iPad and saves a load of paper into the bargain.
I never expected the amount of hate that the iPad would generate however; comments of “it’s only a big f****ng iPod” and “F****ng iPad” when on the way between meetings made me stop and think. When was the last time a piece of technology generated such hate? The comments spat and shouted at the “b****d Apple fanboy” had the venom I’ve only previously heard from racists about ethnic minorities or football “fans” about other teams fans. Where does it come from?
Maybe it’s all about success, and hating it. Back when the only real mainstream computer in town was a PC running Windows it was all about Microsoft, and in particular Bill Gates. Anyone who used Windows a lot would have some sympathy for complaints about the the BSOD and obscure error messages and any organisation that is happy to include this message in their OS probably ought to consider hiring public relations staff as well as software engineers. I’ve thrown enough PCs out of my office window to understand these frustrations. Really I have. Can’t say I ever abused anyone in the street for using Word though.
I’m now starting to wonder though if frustration is the whole story. I mean, look at the amount of hatred Apple generates. Apple is, on some counts, now the US’s largest computer manufacturer. If tech-hate is really mainly success-hate it is perhaps unsurprising that Apple and Steve Jobs are now deemed worthy targets as MS and Bill Gates were previously. Wherereas previously Apple were the good guy against the giant corporation (Microsoft) they have now become the giant corporation. Google for while looked like becoming the new Robin Hood figure but is now starting to look like the big brother to cap them all.
There are of course good and worthy reasons to disapprove of Microsoft, Google and Apple: all are huge companies and, in common with almost all huge profitable companies, all have activities and history that are questionable. Maybe the current personalisation of bad feeling is because the ground upon which the competition is now being fought has changed. The war of words has shifted from PC Guy and Mac Guy to Android mobile user vs iOS mobile user. Searching online forums for useful info on iOS or Android hardware and software takes you right to the heart of the issue. There is a lot of real anger about which type of smartphone you have in your pocket. Anger. Venom spitting, red faced, furious abuse being directed to and from those siding with iOS or Android.
Shame they can’t find something more worthwhile to get angry about.
(Windows, OSX, iOS and Android user)Follow @BenGShirley