Dumb smart phones

Have you ever been in a discussion with a Windows person about your MacBook Pro and heard something similar to: “Why did you waste your money on such an overpriced piece of elitist hipster junk?”

I wish I could report that I was the only person in the world who has heard such a statement before. However, that passionate rivalry between Windows and Apple people has now gone beyond notebooks and into the grand arena of smartphones.

Recently, I was nearly destroyed by an angry mob of my Apple groupie friends when they discovered that I had bought an Android phone rather than an iPhone. In almost every conversation that I had with them, they would try to remind me of all my lifetime failures — especially the purchase of my Samsung Galaxy.

I wish that I could just sing, “You like potato and I like potahto/You like Apple and I like Android/Potato, potahto, Apple, Android/Let’s call the whole thing off,” and then join hands with the iPhone people and sing a chorus of “Kumbaya.”

Why is there all this negative energy between the two sides? A better question: why are there sides in the first place?

It is possible for both Macs and PCs to exist simultaneously. Did you know that there are people who own both an Apple and a Windows device? I hear this statement from Mac people all the time: “My (fill in Apple product) is built so much better than your inferior Windows product because I don’t have to replace my unit every other month.” Face it: stuff will break. iPhones do too, especially if you drop it into the toilet. Electronics, in general, are fragile, regardless of maker. Smartphones of all makes and models are fragile and become damaged easily. Both iPhones and Androids have interfaces that take time to get used to, and the old joke still holds some water: “You can do everything with a smartphone except make calls.”

However, all cell phones are problematic in the sense that people cannot seem to get along in the world without one. I remember long ago, during the prehistoric age of 2002, when I did not have a cell phone and my life ran just as smoothly without one. People place too much emphasis on defining who they are by the stuff they own; they use their smartphone as a status symbol. To be honest, I feel ‘cool’ when I whip out my Android, but not because of my Android. I feel ‘cool’ because I am proud to be the person that I have become and am proud to have achieved the things that I have achieved. I am glad that I have a tool like my smartphone to help capture and enhance all the ‘cool’ moments in my life. At the end of the day, my phone does not define me, but I define what my phone is to me.