Stop the (Boring) Fighting

Mat Honan, Wired:

Do you work for Apple? Do you work for Samsung? No? Then shut up.
Nobody cares what kind of smart phone you believe in. It’s not a religion. It’s not your local sports team even. Stop being a soldier. You are not a soldier. You are just wrong. Shut up. You there, with the blog, in the comments, in the pages of the newspaper or the magazine or on Twitter or Facebook. Whatever your opinion is, as soon as you employ it in partisan fashion, it’s deeply and profoundly wrong. Just by sharing it, you are wrong. And nobody cares. Except for the people who do. And they are wrong too. Myself included.

This week, as we edge ever close to the nadir of stupidity in the technology industry, Mat Honan has penned this utterly timely — and perennially important — article about the combative nature of technology enthusiasts.

In summary, for whatever reason, we've all taken it upon ourselves to become grossly over-protective, defensive, and arrogant about matters as inconsequential as our telephones. It's unbecoming and woefully unattractive behavior.

Moreover, it's also inane, trite, and indescribably boring.

Considering the volume of perceived intelligence in the technology sphere, it's amazing to watch as otherwise dignified people descend into blistering — and invariably pointless — polemics over technology firms.

You think Blackberry is dying? Good for you. You also think Google is lying and untrustworthy? I bet that's conducive to getting things done online, but fair enough. Oh, and you're also wary of Apple's approval methods? Well, it's good to have an opinion, I suppose.

But, at the end of the day, I couldn't care less. And I suspect that most — if not all — other people feel the same way, too.

Unless you're contributing something valuable about the socioeconomics and long-term viability of a company (or something equally interesting), there's no particular reason for you to be gleefully wringing your hands together as a company takes a misstep.

Think about the mechanics of that form of journalism for a moment.

Right now, people are literally watching the technology industry and waiting for something bad to occur for a company they've arbitrarily chosen to dislike. And when it happens, they'll pounce all over it, whilst mostly ignoring the overarching facts of the situation.

It's embarrassing.

If you think Apple is draconian or Microsoft is a dinosaur, then please take a breath and write a thoughtful piece about the ramifications of this corporate philosophy. Perhaps you might contribute something interesting to the collective discussion. Anything else with an inflammatory headline and a presumptive conclusion is irrational and will inevitably damage your credibility.

If you're reading this site, it's likely you have a vested interest in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Regardless of whether you buy Apple, Google, or Microsoft products, you ultimately care about the steady improvement of the technology in your life.

Such improvement cannot — and will not — occur without competition. Nor will it occur without mistakes.

In this environment, inane dialog back and forth between fans of one company versus another serves no purpose whatsoever. It's mood music surrounding companies doing business to take more of your money. And if you cannot see the importance of sustaining a balanced and reasonable viewpoint amidst one of the most volatile industries, then you're likely resigning yourself from enjoying the best products and services available.

So, stop taking everything so personally and start just appreciating the industry for what it provides.