Thursday, January 24, 2013
Marco Arment leads off some perspicacious
comments on the phenomenon of "anti-Apple anger" by defining the phenomenon
and noting that it is one-sided:
I've noticed a very clear trend among tech sites I read: Android fans are unusually quick to fill the comment box with rage on articles that mention anything positive about Apple or its products. The reverse -- Apple fans leaving angry comments on pro-Android articles -- is almost completely absent from the sites I've seen, including sites like The Verge that have many readers in both camps.Arment wonders why this is the case after observing a similar reaction from Microsoft fans to a negative review he wrote of a Microsoft Store.
The anger from Microsoft and Android fans at anything pro-Apple usually has undertones of disbelief and frustration, as if to say, "I can't believe I have to say this again. Why don't you get it? What's wrong with you people?"Arment boils down the source of the anger to a couple of things (either or both of which could apply to any individual): (1) an uneasy suspicion that one may have, in fact, made a bad purchasing decision; and (2) a genuine bewilderment on the part of Android/Windows users about the willingness of so many users to put up with Apple's design decisions, which Arment admits eliminate features many people want and are done with "attitude" (i.e., in a way that many find high-handed).
Arment adds the following speculation, with which I am inclined to agree:
The apparent asymmetry in angry comments is likely because the Apple-fan attitude of aloofness keeps most Apple fans away from dedicated Android and Windows sites and articles, whereas the anti-Apple attitude probably drives many people on that side to try to "rescue" or convince Apple fans that they're blind or idiotic.Let's set aside people who go with the flow, and just buy whatever everyone they know says is good, or are similarly passive about this choice. There are three basic possibilities regarding any one who is fan of a product or a company: (1) He chose his product for good reasons (not all of which will be apparent to everyone); (2) He has made a bad choice and is unaware of it; (3) He is, in fact, some kind of unreachable dolt.
As Arment notes, the differing degrees of freedom the two types of platform offer couple with different customer needs to make neither platform better than the other in all cases. This means that someone who rails at the first category of fan will just look like an idiot to that fan. Insulting a fan of the second type will do nothing to motivate him to grasp whatever argument one might have made. Regarding the third type, why bang one's head against a wall?
If someone genuinely thinks there is something wrong with a phenomenon like Apple's popularity, frustration is understandable, at least initially. (I think there is something culturally wrong with certain aspects of it, but the problem is hardly limited to what people are willing to take from Apple.) But devoting one's time to venting frustration is counterproductive. One might feel a momentary sense of satisfaction -- but did one really "show 'em"? No. The only really productive course of action is to determine to the best one can what is wrong, the extent to which one can change it, and how much of an effort to effect such a change is really worth it against everything else one values in life.
Life is short: Why would anyone waste even a minute or so of it berating someone else over something like the phone he decided to buy.