Why is there so much hostility within the mobile industry?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I'm certain we've all been involved, or at least witnessed, a rather peaceful topic turn into a nasty debate within minutes at some point within our involvement with this industry. It could be about a manufacturer, a carrier, a platform or even about features. All it takes is one hasty person to bring in a string of hasty people, and unfortunately text alone can be confusing on what message a person tries to convey. Who would have ever known that a simple period could turn a sentence so hostile? Next thing you know it's all World War Virtual up in the World Wide Web.
It's something I never quite understood here. There's plenty of room for friendly debate, but entirely too often something that started off as a "debate" turns into a flat out heated argument, where people will often bring much more to the table than just how they feel about iOS, Android, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. They'll start talking about families, friends, throw out personal attacks and just get downright mean over... smartphones. Inanimate objects that, although might me smart, still aren't smart enough to have feelings. Siri isn't really going to care whether you switch to Windows Phone or not - she'll still be your friend. The only people that might care are the executives at Apple, who probably won't notice because of the next person that comes along and replaces you, and that guy or girl on the forums who can't fathom you ever enjoying another platform.
What's wrong with you?
Clearly you're not a true fan of [platform of choice].
Anybody who likes [alternative platform] is just stupid.
Your mother was a hamster, and your father smells of elder berries!
I stay out of debates that turn sour. I'm all for a worthwhile, intelligent discussion, but when it turns to insults like that I just lose interest. The point of the discussion is moot, and telling somebody that they're an idiot is probably not going to convince them one way or the other that the platform, brand or phone you use is superior. You know what has a better chance of getting somebody to see your point of view? Telling people what you like about what you support. Be tactful about it! Tell people what you personally use a certain device or platform for. If they're still not interested, well, that's fine. That's all there is to it. It's fine. Your life will not end because somebody else doesn't like the same platform as you, or as much as you do.
I am a fan of each platform, for different reasons. And sometimes at different times. There will be times where I am not a huge fan of a certain platform after a huge update. Like iOS 7? I love a lot of the changes they made, but I think the layout is hideous. Am I going to condemn somebody who thinks it looks good? No, because I know there are going to be people out there who think that it looks good - and that's good! As long as they're happy is all that matters, because in the end it doesn't affect me. On the flip side, just because I like Android right now doesn't mean everybody else has to. I know not everybody is going to favor the same platform as I do, and I'm perfectly okay with that. I welcome the feedback on why people agree or disagree with me; reading about different perspectives is what greatly helps make this industry not boring. And who knows? In an update or two I might not like Android as much anymore and would want to go to something like Windows Phone. You just never know; this industry changes so often.
There will be disagreements among discussions. It's inevitable. However, just because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean you have to get daft about it. By and large, I think we can all agree that we enjoy technology as a hobby - that's why we're here! I know it can be hard not to use the anonymity the Internet gives us to be a little bit braver about what we might be really thinking, but in the end the angry banter isn't really going to help anybody or anything. Let's just turn off the caps lock and have a Snickers together. Everything is going to be okay.