Nerd Tribalism

I've actually had two acquaintances 'defriend' me on Facebook in the last couple of months after calling them on being outright offensive about someone else's choice of smartphone. You read that right. I'm the first person that'll tell you, in detail, why I think my iPhone is awesome. I'll also tell you all the reasons I don't particularly want an Android device if you really care to hear. I won't try and cast aspersions on your intelligence or worth as a human being. Being Facebook, it's not even a case where anonymity allowed for a lack of restraint and consequence, these individuals were supposedly friends with each other.

A casual search of Facebook turns up dozens of groups dedicated to the paraded hate of iPhones or android. Well, from one nerd to another:

You're doing it wrong.

Folks are different, have different requirements, tolerances, levels of familiarity, comfort and knowledge. Not everyone cares as much about the whole scope of possibilities, of being able to customise their technology to ever finer degrees. Not everyone want's to have a number of these decisions made for them, or to be tied into a restricted channel of apps or content. Their judgement of value is different to yours. Someone not sharing your views is absolutely not an acceptable reason to attack them personally and even less so if they're supposed to be your friend. This also means you don't get to inject passive-aggressive bile into their timeline; no "Ho ho ho this is why people that don't use the same smartphone as me are stupid!" comments.

I'm cool with proselytisation; I do it all the time. But that's not based on trying to make someone feel so inferior or stupid that they simply acquiesce to your point of view. It's about explaining the benefits of your choice as you see them. It's about why your thing is awesome. Anything less is an insult to everyone involved.

Being a nerd is about embracing the things you love, and not your need to feel superior.

The Modern Cyborg

Militant Atheism is Not Angry Atheism