The Underwhelmed Audience

John McEnroe is furious about the new iPad

Contending with the evident trend toward nearsighted criticism of Apple's latest products and the astronomic expectations of the consumer, Jon Dick writes for The TechBlock:

What if you were continually subjected to the dramatic sighing and dismissive shrugs? And what if there were no end in sight?

That’s how Apple must feel when it takes the stage to show off a new product. If that gadget does anything less than carve out a new niche, or at least revolutionize an existing one, and simultaneously cure cancer, the company’s criticized by throngs of media and consumers who can’t believe they wasted their time on such uninspired crap.

For every Apple event, an ensuing wave of negativity has become a virtual inevitability. Cries of dissatisfaction and childish entitlement characterize posts designed to ride upon the fading waves of hype and discussion. Fortunately, this response, although frustrating, tends to fall into relative silence within a matter of days. But that is not to say it passes without recognition.

Many blame rumor-mongers for elevating the expectations of the consumer to impossibly lofty heights but, it seems to me, it is precisely this wave of negativity that is to blame. The average consumer, although loosely aware of rumored features, is generally unaware of the granular possibilities for forthcoming devices. On the other hand, the average consumer is privy to the ensuing response.

A new iPad has been announced and the average consumer looks to read about it but, on the day of the event, most technology news outlets are bereft of any degree of substantive coverage. Brief posts outline features laced with hastily taken photographs. In this environment, there is no choice but to turn to the lengthy ignorance of the negative wave.

Although the negativity is quickly and intellectually dismantled, the damage is done and expectations are set. The average consumer, now illogically upset with the latest iteration of the iPad, is prompted to believe that Apple must produce something measurably revolutionary for the ensuing year. The iPad 2 was a specification bump? Angrily wait for the next. The iPhone 4S was a disappointing? Throw a tantrum and wait for the forthcoming, oft-rumored, Godlike device set to arrive the next year.

Granted, we are victims of our own insatiable consumerism, but the situation is woefully exacerbated by the self-entitled cries of the gullible and misinformed.

Avoid lofty expectations at all costs and set your desires for a product firmly within the bounds of logic and reason. Excitement for innovation is perfectly understandable, but tricking yourself into believing inaccuracies is a path toward disappointment, self-entitlement, and the sustenance of a cycle of unnecessary negativity.

Context is the key to dismantling unreasonable negativity.