Image by Pocheco (Creative Commons).
I’ve been going to write this post for a while. It’s about fanboys. As someone who’s always been into gaming and tech, I’ve had long exposure to fanboys.
I remember just before Christmas when I was a young teen (thirteen or fourteen), I had asked my parents for a Commodore Amiga — which subsequently, they kindly bought for me. I was looking forward to Christmas morning, but every evening on the way home from school, my friend Adam would run-down the Amiga, and list all the reasons his Sega Megadrive (AKA Sega Genesis, which he had asked for) was going to be so much better.
I never challenged Adam. Not because the Amiga was inferior (it wasn’t), but because even then I knew it was a waste of time. I don’t enter debates when someone is fundamentally unwilling to compromise. This is why I no longer write a politics blog.
There was no-way I could say anything that would make Adam concede even the slightest point in any discussion, so why bother? To Adam the Megadrive was the dog’s dangly bits, and nothing I could say could make him think otherwise. Adam was a fanboy.
A year later and Nintendo’s SNES had been launched, and the second console wars had begun. If you’re a man of a certain age, you know all about the SNES vs Megadrive hostilities. I got a SNES the following Christmas and Adam switched to Nintendo, and somewhat ironically, we were “allies” for a short time. This certainly made the walks to school less combative.
I imagine the N64 vs PlayStation debate was similarity bloody, but by that time I was at Uni and more concerned with getting laid. I did get an N64 though, and we had a shared PlayStation in the digs.
As regular readers will know, I’ve been an Apple Mac user for many years. Naturally I’ve also had significant exposure to the Mac vs PC debate. At work I use Windows, at home a Mac. I prefer a Mac, but I don’t have any appetite whatsoever to get into an argument about it.
Probably the most vicious debate these days is about smartphones. You read the most ridiculous bullshit about smartphones. Most of the comments and tweets I read about the iPhone, are by people who’ve clearly not spent more than a few seconds in an O2 store with one. Likewise the idiots who claim that Android phones are over-complicated, or that there are no good apps available.
I use Macs, Windows and I have a Linux netbook. I have an iPhone 4 from work and my personal phone is a Samsung Galaxy SII rocking Android. They’re all really good devices and great operating systems. And for a long time I totally loved BlackBerry.
If you like your phone, games console or computer operating system, then great. And by all means tell people how much you — personally — really enjoy using it. But if you’re going to spend your time on Twitter or in the comments of a popular tech blog, commenting on devices or software you’ve never actually used seriously, then you Sir, are a moron of the highest order.
Fanboys are like the X-Factor or tabloid newspapers, they’re diverting but ultimately pointless.
We’re all capable and guilty of prejudice. But if you allow your loyalty to a brand (think about how stupid that sounds), to consume your ability to have a rational discussion, then you really should find a better outlet for your repressed insecurities.
This is not a blog for fanboys, this is a blog for rational geeks.