Tech Life

Following the example of the so-called Godwin’s Law, yesterday on Twitter I formulated a very personal Law:

The overall value of a discussion decreases as the frequency of the term ‘fanboy’ in said discussion increases.

I am officially sick and tired of this term, which is more and more frequently used as a blanket definition of any Mac user or pundit. There are a lot of people, myself included, who simply use Apple products because they meet their needs best, and endorsing them is just a natural consequence. ‘Fanboy’, which derives from ‘fanatic’, implies irrationality, excessiveness, single-mindedness. And of course there are fanatics in possibly every human context. But on the Web as of late, I noticed that as soon as someone tries to participate in any discussion involving Apple versus Another Big Company, or any Apple platform (hardware or software or both) versus Other Competing Company’s platform, and this someone happens to speak his/her mind in Apple’s favour… voilà, the ‘fanboy’ label is promptly attached.

This is unjust and unfair, because there are people out there who have made rational choices and have rational opinions backed up by facts, and they’re trying to explain their point of view. What I notice with alarming frequently, instead, is not discussion, just name-calling. Calling someone ‘fanboy’ for the sake of it is just as irrational, and this affects the discussion often irreparably. We’re not in kindergarten anymore. At least, one hopes so.

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