I do get very disappointed with people who get so agitated by fanboyism, so much so that they ignore potential solutions as they are not made by their favourite “manufacturer”.
Often I get accused of being an Apple fanboy, which is not too surprising when I sit there at an event with my iPhone, Macbook and iPad. I must be, I am using all Apple equipment…
I use what I think is the best equipment for me in the context of budget, where I am, what I need to do, etc…
What I don’t do is constantly defend Apple regardless of the context. Likewise I don’t “attack” other companies on their products. It doesn’t achieve anything and isn’t helpful.
So what is the difference between constructive criticism and fanboyism?
If you hate everything that Apple makes then you are a fanboy. If you would never touch Windows or Android, then you are a fanboy. If someone criticises a product and the criticism is a valid criticism, and you defend that product regardless, then you are a fanboy. If you choose one company for everything you use (and importantly recommend too) and then attack everyone else for using different things then you are probably a fanboy.
I remember back in the first few years of the 2000s I was telling people about how I liked using OS X, but was told many a time that we shouldn’t be using OS X in education as Windows XP was the industry standard and used by businesses, therefore education should only use OS X. What I found rather amusing was when it came to choosing tablets, those same people who said we must use the “industry standard” of Windows XP, said we shouldn’t use iPads as they were a closed proprietary product… even though by most measures they were the industry standard! The true colours of those people as Microsoft “fanboys” came out.
There isn’t anything really wrong with choosing products from a single company, the reality is if you then spend time attacking choices by others, or defending the company’s products all the time, then that’s fanboyism.
At the end of the day, I will choose and use products that make my life easier, I will write and talk about those products, and I will also make valid criticisms about products I and others use. I am writing this blog article (in draft) using a MacBook and Pages (from Apple). I will publish it online using WordPress (open source) and using a 3G connection via an Android powered Google Nexus One phone. I know people will be able to read it using a variety of platforms and browsers.
So are you a fanboy?
Photo via Heloukee