Friday, October 03, 2014

Apple Versus Android and the Gridiron of Life

Recently, over the dinner table, Thing #1 filled me in on a schoolyard conversation she had with a friend about smartphones. It went something like this:

Thing#1: Hey, what kind of phone is that?

Mean little boy who doesn't worship my daughter like he should: It's a Samsung running Android. Something you wouldn't know anything about, Apple Fangirl.

This left my daughter flustered and confused. Did she do something wrong? Did she somehow show off a lack of basic human knowledge? Did she just get bullied and not even realize it?

As she told me about this, I realized that she'd fallen into the same trap that I, as a kid, constantly fell into - just a trap with different subject matter. Stay with me here.

In my humble opinion, young sports fans are made, not born. And they are made through the careful cultivation, marination, and indoctrination by adult sports fans bringing their offspring into the fold. A kid is introduced to the Red Sox because his dad is a Sox fan, as was his dad before him. It's a rare occurrence that a kid will be born into a Sox family and have a thing for the Mariners. I suppose it
happens, but it's rare. It's really all about the parents' influence. A non-sports fan myself, I often found myself, as a kid, being somewhat picked on for my lack of sports-related current events. "Dude, did you see Dwight Evans last night? Oh wait, I forgot, you were probably working on some science project last night while the rest of us were watching the game. Too bad, so sad." (books promptly thrown into mud).

Well, times have changed. Apple, Google, and the like have created armies of fans and scores of opposing forces. Do a web search for "Apple versus Android" and get over 5.4 million hits. Look at the comments of any tech site, and trolls will be everywhere, inciting verbal violence between like-minded individuals.

So perhaps I'm making an assumption here, but I picture that this kid who confronted my daughter on her poor lack of smartphone knowledge at one time or another had "the talk" with his dad, which went something like this:

Kid: Dad, can I get an iphone?

Dad: Son, you can have any phone you want. But if you're going to live in this house, it's gotta be Android. In this house, we're all about the Green and White.

Kid: Dad, what's Android?

Dad: Only the best freaking OS in the big leagues.

Kid: Why? What makes it better than Apple?

Dad: Cuz Android's got the experience and the power to get things done. It's got the best development team in the industry, and they move the goal line forward constantly. Oh sure, Apple makes a pretty phone. but you don't win games by being pretty. You want your phone to look pretty and have a pretty little case with sparkles on it, get yourself a girly little iPhone. But if you wanna be a real man, you have to get Android.

Kid: Why?

Dad: Cuz you can do whatever you want with it. Root the OS. multitask. Download stuff from wherever you want.

Kid: I like the iPhone. It's got cool black and gray colors.

Dad: Son, I don't even know who you are anymore. Listen kid....if you want to be a sheep like the rest of them, get yourself an iPhone, but no son of MINE will be doing that.

Kid: Dad, it's just a phone. I just need it to text.

Dad: JUST A PHONE? Is Google Maps just a map? Is HTTPS just a protocol? The Android team has sweated their life away to bring you this thing of beauty. Come on son...get your game face on, we're headed to the store. Time for you to be indoctrinated.

So, apparently some of this rubbed off on the kid. Once happy with whatever shiny object was put in front of him, he now developed a finely tuned opinion, forced upon him by the intense pressure and fandom of his forefathers.

So, this is where we are as a society. Ebola is spreading. ISIS is attacking. The weather is getting more and more freakish on a daily basis. But at least we have our beloved teams to worship, every first Tuesday of the third month before the next tech industry financial results announcements come out, that time when new products are released. We can grab a beer, sit back in our easy chair, and watch the latest keynote presentation by an ubernerd who was never really trained to perform in from of a live audience as he demonstrates the latest in tech positioned to save the world from real productivity. And somewhere, out there, like-minded fans are rejoicing, because the latest Samsung now has a curved screen.

1 comment:

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