Apple’s infamous “I’m a Mac, You’re a PC” ads are airing in the UK with British actors, and of course the nerdblogs are all atwitter about it. Supposedly they’re quite entertaining, especially for lovers of Britcoms. Personally I won’t bother watching them, because I really don’t need more Mac smugness pushed into my face. I’ve seen most of the U.S. versions, and they positively drip with it! Polite, yes, but smug nonetheless. Is this really necessary?
If you haven’t seen them, allow me to paraphrase a bit:
Unshaven, floppy-haired hipster Mac guy: “Hi, I’m a Mac. That makes me exciting and fresh and clever. I’m thinking different by joining an elite club of people who know what stylish computing is. Using a Mac automatically makes you smarter and more creative. Minutes after pulling me out of the box, you’ll be producing Hollywood films. I can do this and this and this, and I never ever ever ever crash or have bugs. I truly am a miracle product.”
Pathetic, chubby PC nerd in a stuffy suit: “I’m a PC. That makes me droll and stiff and lifeless. I can’t do anything easily. Sure, I can do everything a Mac does, but I can get viruses. I have to swap out all my hardware for every upgrade. I have to spend hours installing drivers and stuff. Honestly, all I’m really good for is pie charts and spreadsheets. That means I suck. I wish I was as cool and smart as a Mac. I also kinda wish I was dead.”
Hipster Mac tool: “You pathetic PC fuckwad. There really is no hope for you. But good luck!”
That’s the commercial they’d love to make, if they could get away with it. Apple is very good at marketing this perception that PCs can’t do anything and that the Mac is the only machine for creative, thinking people. It simply isn’t so. But a lot of devoted Mac people eat it right up — they swear up and down that their way is the One Way. Sorta like evangelical Christians.
Look, I used to be a Mac guy…loved them to death. Used and owned them for years. A few years ago, mostly to save money, I ditched my Mac (clone) and built a PC for less than half the cost of a new Mac. Since then I’ve upgraded it several times when/how I wanted and kept the OS up-to-date. And because I’m a responsible user and have educated myself about how to avoid viruses and spyware (which can also target Macs, despite what Apple says), it’s fast and snappy, completely junk-free. Boots up in under a minute. It does everything I need: games, graphics, music, video/sound editing, you name it. For my needs, it kicks ass and I have a lot of fun with it. Granted, I might take better care of it than the average idiot who blindly clicks on strange email attachments, but I’m certainly no power user.
So do I walk around thinking I’m a superior life form because I use Windows? Do I troll those forums and incite flamewars? Do I feel that I belong to a special elitist club? Do I hang on Bill Gates’ every word as if everything that comes out of his mouth is a dollop of golden holiness from God? Do I feel a spiritual kinship with other Windows users? Do I look at Mac people and snicker, thinking they’re wasting their money on overpriced trash? No. Because, you see, I already have a personality. My choice of computer doesn’t define who I am, it’s just this thing that I use to do stuff that I enjoy. If someone loves the Mac’s OS better than Windows, that’s great! You like what you like, it’s as simple as that, and Macs are easy to like. And neither OS is perfect, despite what the marketing bullshit says.
But there are zillions of Mac fans out there who do think they’re superior because they use a Mac. All you have to do is read the tech news, read the blogs, read the comments…or maybe you know them personally. Their Macs can do no wrong, their iPods are manna from heaven. God, so very smug. They’re probably even more smug than Prius owners, if that’s even possible. What a silly thing to be smug about, hmmm?
I really don’t hate Macs, I’m too much of a geek for that. I also know that not every Mac user is a fanatic. Critter is a longtime Mac lover…he uses a PC at work, and simply prefers the Mac. He’s owned an original iMac and a Cube, and last year he bought a Mini. It’s a sweet, fast little bugger that does a hell of a lot for the price. It was also a piece of cake to set up, and he hasn’t had any problems with it. I’ve been tempted by the beauty of OSX, but so far I haven’t felt the desire to switch…I won’t rule it out, though. Who knows, I may very well own a Macbook in the future, but we’ll see. I also love reading about Steve Jobs’ presentations of new gadgets, he’s a clever guy and has saved Apple’s ass, making it a company that few people can fuck with. Bill Gates just lacks that sly coolness (though he makes up for it with his philanthropic stuff).
No, I’m not just saying all this to avoid hate mail from Mac folks. 🙂 I really do think that Macs are worth loving. It’s those users with a pointless superiority complex that drive me nuts. And hey, PC users can totally be assholes too…many are zealots in their own right. But usually they’re too busy installing drivers. Ha-ha!
Am I the only one who feels this way? Is it time to form a support group? (And please don’t bother listing all the reasons why you think your Mac is better than a PC, or vice versa. Really, it’s been done to death.)