We've covered bigotry in most of its forms before, in my second ever Blog entry in fact (See November 2012's post - I'm a Bigot, You're a Bigot, We're ALL Bigots). But there's one type that I left out. If I were trying to sound clever, I'd say 'I left it out on purpose so that I could cover it now, when I had a bigger fanbase,' but actually - I've only just thought about it.
It's not a recent invention, people have suffered this particular ailment for at least the past hundred years, if not more.
I'm talking about the bigotry that masquerades as 'Brand Loyalty', this is most prevalent in whatever the current emergent technology market is of course - In recent times for example hordes of fan-bois throw insults at each other about their choice of mobile phone operating system -
Android being for the Geeks,
IOS is for the hipsters,
BlackBerry is for the pay-as-you go Jeremy Kyle watchers,
Windows Mobile is for the hard of thinking.
I mean it can get pretty brutal at times, well, as brutal as people who fixate on electronics and their firmware can get, I mean - You might get a Chinese burn from one of them maybe, if they'd known you for a long time, and as long as your Dad wasn't bigger than their Dad. No-one's going to stab you for having an iPhone, well actually, there is a chance that you might get stabbed if you have an iPhone - But it won't be because of your choice of operating system, it's more likely that the stabbist will be chemically imbalaced and he'd like to sell your phone to his mate, Honest Brian (Unlock any phone for a fiver - No questions asked, Very clean Sister, you like her?), down the market, for £15.
Psychologists, or at least people who are currently doing the first year of their Sociology Degree will say that this is all to do with the Homo-Sapien tribal urge, strength in numbers, social stratification etc. And will point you at the collected works of Max Horkheimer (Mainly to get rid of you for a while, as his stuff's a bit off the wall).
I say that it's a lot more simple than that, and that most first year Sociology students are only doing that subject because Media Studies or Sports Marketing was over-subscribed. I reckon it's because everyone thinks that their own, personal opinion is worth about a bajillion times more than anyone else's. I don't mean their professional opinion, I wouldn't take my car to the garage and ask the opinion of the oily chap who'd been fixing cars for the past twenty years, wait for him to look it over for an hour and when he says,
'Your head gasket's gone, it needs replacing,'
Reply, 'No, I think you'll find that the oil and water in the engine have had a bit of a chat and decided to co-exist in a shared living space, embracing their cultural differences and going halves on the shopping.'
I mean that'd be nuts, people are called professionals because they do something as a profession, they get paid for it - The clue's in the name.
But your Brand Loyalist only has a personal opinion, it's subjective and often completely wrong - But that doesn't mean that he (because it's invariably a man) won't defend this opinion up until the point where he foams at the mouth, jumps up and down, grabs hold of his feet and tears himself asunder, leaving only a smoking beanie-hat with a post-it note on it that says 'HTC's are the best phone to buy because I've got one.'
I'm exactly the same, not with phones as such, because I've got an ancient 'Candy-bar' phone that does me just fine when I remember to charge it. I have a work-provided BlackBerry that mostly gets used for playing Texas Hold'em during my 'alone time' at work and an iPad, also work-provided that I use to... erm... well, get my email when I'm not at work.
It's the iPad that causes me the problems, the only reason that every single person in the free world doesn't have one is because they're guinea pig meltingly expensive. Mine was free, and therefore has become (In My Humble Opinion) the single greatest piece of tech the world has ever seen - It has bad points, don't get me wrong, but I don't talk about them, so for all intents and purposes they don't exist. The interface is a bit clunky, even hit and miss sometimes, but that's because I've got old, fat fingers, not because it's a thrown together triumph of form over function. It's sleek, blank visage evokes mystery and familiarity at the same time, it's not just a magnified iPhone at all (You can tell by the way that the iPhone charger fits into it, but it won't charge it very well - that's a feature to remind you how different it is, and how different YOU are for owning one).
The first thing I think when I see people with a tablet that isn't an iPad is:
'Oh, poor you, couldn't you afford a real one?'
Which is odd, because the first thing I think when I see someone with an iPhone is:
'Dude, you seriously have more money than sense, they're not even that good, functionality wise, compared to other SmartPhones'
And I will react in exactly the same way, right up until I get my new iPhone when work replaces my BlackBerry.