March 23, 2010

899 words 5 mins read

Why we hate fanboys? Lack of reality

Being a “fan” (short for fanatic and sometimes also called aficionado or supporter) of your favorite product or company isn’t a concept unique to technology (computers, software, video games, etc). Just take a look at sports (Raiders or 49ers?), bands (U2 or Linkin Park?), cameras (Nikon or Canon?), automobiles (domestic or import?) or even ice cream (chocolate or vanilla?). Everywhere and anywhere you have the ability choose multiple options, you’ll have fans. Some people will be “meh” about the entire deal, but the ones you’ll really hear from are the fans.

Since I’m not involved in sports (in any way shape or form) one of the best examples of fanaticism I can pull upon is cameras. The camps really break down to Nikon versus Canon. Sure there are other sides, like Sony, but even the Nikonians and Canoners band together to hate on Sony. Seriously, who buys a Sony DSLR? That being said, while there is an extremely strong rivalry between the two groups, I rarely run into anyone who is die hard rude about it. I, a Nikonian, regularly run into Canoners (including some disowned members of my own family ^_^ ). We joke about being mortal enemies, but really everyone is cool about it. I understand that some people like Canon. I got my start on Nikon so that’s where I stay. From what I understand, this is basically true for all rivalries. Sure an extreme minority take it too far, but most people can come to grips with it. Except for, it seems, one group.

Technology fanboys. I’ve run into a lot of fanatical fanboys when it comes to technology. People that make the Al-Qaeda jihad against America look like a minor disagreement. Sure, not everyone is this bad, but those that are fanatical are extremely off the deep end and very obnoxiously loud about it. In their eyes, their product is the best and any other option is a piece of shit. What makes me hate this group of people so much is one issue:

They lack reality. Please. No product is perfect. No company is perfect. Each one is made for a specific demographic. Most people are not in the same demographic as you, and therefore have different preferences. Your product is not made by Jesus incarnate (I’m looking at you, Apple cultists). There is nothing I hate more than trying to talk to these type of people, because they act as if they are literally brain washed. I’m not saying that a person should be easily persuaded, but simply made to understand that another side exists and that some people might not like what they like.

So let me put my money where my mouth (or keyboard… or something) is and take a look at a few of my biases.

#1 I’m a Google fanboy. I think they make very good products and appreciate immensely that they tend to be free. I do understand that they are an advertising company. I also understand that they data mine everything they have on me. But if knowing that I’m a male, 25-30, living in the Bay Area and a ham radio enthusiast helps them sell an ad for more money (thereby keeping my gmail free), I don’t mind. I know some people don’t like Google because of the privacy aspects; ok, cool. There are dozens of other web mail and search engines out there. At one point I couldn’t imagine using anything other than Yahoo, and now they suck.

#2 I play Xbox 360. I think the Playstation 3 is over-powered and lacks a lot of the good games (plus for some reason they are still delivering games in 720p rather than 1080p like the Xbox 360). You know what though, the PS3 has a BluRay player and the 360 is stuck on DVDs which is quite lame. Some days my Xbox also gives me “The Disk is Unreadable” messages every 15 minutes and drives me up the wall.

#3 I hate Apple, with a passion. It is no secret that I wish the plague upon that company. I honestly believe that the fanboy levels for Apple products are in the territory of brain washing. That being said this post was written on a MacBook Air, and I have an iPhone within arms reach. I hate OSX because I use it. BUT a lot of the reasons I hate Apple are because they made their products for the technologically under developed (my nice way of saying people who are computer retarded). Those people who aren’t as tech savvy as myself love the product because they are easy to use and hard to break. I can’t fault them for wanting a computer that is easy to use. Hell, if I ever find a computer that is user friendly, easy to use, never breaks down and lets me do everything I want to do on it (i.e. is powerful, great gaming machine)… I’ll retire from IT and join a Monastery (Editor’s note: I presume the machine will be going with you.).

I may hate on a lot of different companies and products. I may boast of the products I really enjoy. But I will LISTEN and attempt to understand what you have to say and why. I’m not a zealot. Thank god, because I really hate the fanboy zealots, and I think everyone else does as well.