Fanboy-ism at its finest

Guy Burstein

(March 8, 2012) — Purchasing an object used to be a much more simple experience. You would go to the store, buy what you wanted, and go home. Today however, even after a purchase, people obsess over the companies and stores they buy from. They are not only are proud of their purchases, but actively defend them. This is strange because the companies that they obsess over don’t actually care about them. Everyone has heard the useless arguments about whether Battlefield is better than Call of Duty even though the two games are almost identical in that they involve shooting. The only tangible difference is in the name. These sorts of arguments are part of a worrying trend of “fanboy-ism” which seems to take over anything you can buy. From the Apple and Google fan-boys to the Microsoft defenders, no large tech company has not seen its share of obsessed fans who spend an abnormal amount of time and money discussing and buying all the latest gadgets that come out of their favorite company regardless of actual need or quality. You will see people passionately arguing over exactly which company is better and why, as if there were actually something more to them than the individual products they produce. Every time a company comes up with a new product, it has to impress people. With fan-boys, however, that isn’t necessary. They buy anything and everything that comes out, and that means that companies do not have to impress. Ironically, by obsessing over a company, fans are taking away the incentive companies have to actually make new technology. A good example of undeserved support ruining a company is RIM and the Blackberry. For many years, Blackberry OS had a huge amount of business fans who would not consider buying anything else. During this time you didn’t see any huge tech innovations from them. By loving Blackberry too much, its fans took away its need to innovate, and by extension, killed it. That’s not to say people shouldn’t appreciate a good thing. When Apple comes out with a good OS or Samsung with a good phone, being a fan is natural. What’s bad is when you already plan to buy the sequel without even knowing what it is.