Is it me or have the legions of Apple haters been growing lately?
I am not referring to folks who simply don’t care for Apple products or Apple’s business practices but to the ranting lunatics who spend every waking moment attributing blame to Apple for some failing aspect of their lives. Apple’s continued success in the marketplace is their bane. They claim that Apple is popular only because Apple is popular. The more popular Apple becomes, the more they seethe loathing and disgust.
Apple haters — or “iHaters” — are a smug bunch. (Yes, I said “smug.”) They are the bullies of the tech world. iHaters believe that people buy Apple products only because they expect some form of social gain: status, prestige, admiration, etc. They see no inherent value in Apple products. Furthermore, they claim that all of Apple’s contributions to society, culture, or business are merely tangential aberrations, explainable by marketing gimmicks and shiny surfaces.
iHaters exhaustively compare hardware specs to anything made by Apple because these specs are the sole method by which they understand value. You can’t argue with them about this. Their focus is numbers: processor speed, screen resolution, storage, the number of ports. If you tried to point out other reasons to buy Apple products, you are deemed an irrational “fanboy.” Do you like a good user interface, consistency, or attention to detail? Fanboy. Do you enjoy tight product integration, technical or aesthetic? Fanboy. Do you prefer elegance over clutter? Fanboy. Fast, responsive software? Fanboy. Do you enjoy walk-in technical support, or excellent resale value? Fanboy.
So, what makes these people tick? Aside from a personality disorder, I mean?
iHaters remind me a lot of the tea-baggers. They display a lot of anger and frustration but they have no coherent message. Not a day passes without some new faux outrage that boils their blood and affirms their allegiance to the cause. It is all a lot of bellyaching at perceived injustices rather than real, tangible concerns.
iHaters think that their non-comfority somehow displays bravery or intelligence. They define themselves in the negative, as the opposite of whatever they deem to be popular. If you like a movie, they hate it. If you like reggae, they aren’t so keen on it. They are always looking to shock people into acknowledging their raw individuality.
They are terrified of being anonymous. When they see a crowd move in one direction, they instinctually turn the other. They do not want to be viewed as conformists, nor do they want to be associated with people whom they deem to be less intelligent than themselves. Such an association may cause them to lose social status among the hordes of other iHaters with whom they regularly meet to complain about Apple.
Don’t bother trying to debate with an iHaters or even explain a simple misunderstanding. Objective facts are irrelevant to their thought process. It is their perception of facts that deserves primacy. Reality is to be considered only after one’s opinion has been solidified and reinforced with emotional buttresses.
But, most of all, iHaters secretely admire Apple and its products. Buried deep within them is a desire to buy and hug an iPad and possibly even to hump Steve Jobs’s leg like an adoring but lonely terrier. They aren’t even conscious of this desire, as it escapes only in microbursts during moments of emotional weakness. Yet, when they acknowledge these breaches, they over-correct by becoming even more viciously anti-Apple. They lash out at iPods, Objective-C, innocent consumers, or anyone unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.
Apple hatred is a feedback loop. They can’t relent even for a moment because they have never yet relented. If they were to acquiesce on any of their cherished anti-beliefs, they would become anonymous, a mere sheep in the herd. No, they will not succumb. They will not budge. They hate you for buying that MacBook. And they hate, hate, hate Apple.