I will never understand aggressive fandom

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| March 4, 2014

It's kind of funny to see how people involved in the smartphone industry interact with each other sometimes. Whether you're on a website reading an article or a simple news piece, when you scroll down to the comments you'll probably find at least one comment that not only heavily praises one platform, but also manages to completely bash another in the process; you're also likely to see things go even deeper than that, as often these rants quickly go from business to personal.

You're probably familiar with terms like "iSheep", "Samesung", and "Fandroid", which are among some of the less abrasive of the selection, but still come off as trying to be offensive when really there is nothing to be offended about. There's not a whole lot get offended about in this industry, and even if there is, calling people names and pointing fingers at somebody telling them why they should or shouldn't like a product or company probably isn't going to win anybody over. If anything, it would be more likely to turn somebody off from the idea, now that jerks like that have gotten involved. 

Fanboys (and fangirls) aren't anything new in life. You can pretty much find ride or die fans for just about anything in this world. Sports, computers, singers, writers, even choosing between characters within the same series of books (Team Edward/Jacob, anyone?) all have their die hard fans. However, when it comes to die hard fans in the smartphone world things seem to be a little more... heated. Sometimes irrationally, if you ask me. Okay, a lot of the time it's irrational. It's not uncommon to come across an argument between two or more people that starts out with "You're wrong," and ends with "I know a guy who knows a guy whose dog's cousin lives 20 miles from your town, and you better watch your back from now on." Among other ridiculous things leading up to that result, most likely. And it's usually over something along the lines of why somebody does or doesn't like Beats Audio.

If you haven't figure it out at this point, thick skin is required to be involved in this industry for long. Even when you think you're safe, you're probably not. Fortunately for you, I take most of the flack when it comes to opinions that people don't agree with because I've put myself up on a soapbox - and I've gotten used to that. But even then, you, the reader, are not immune to the rampant fandoms of people who suffer from loyalist tunnel vision. You might have completely honest intentions when you type out your opinion on a subject, but always be prepared for somebody to come and rustle your jimmies. At that point, it's your move - you can either continue the conversation (which probably won't amount to anything productive 95% of the time), or you can simply ignore it and move on with your life. I've taken both roads, and I've always found it easier to just pull an Elsa and let it go.

I will probably never understand why some loyalists get so aggressive about something as simple as somebody liking a different platform, manufacturer or feature than they do. In some cases it's almost as if that person feels as if they've been directly insulted if somebody says "I don't like such and such platform because of x, y, and z." They then make it their personal crusade to fight for the justice of this bunch of soulless pixels you have just done a great disservice to. I know most of us act as if smartphones are our very best friends, and if somebody insults your real best friend then we get this "You mess with the bull, you get the horns," mentality going on; however, the fact that your smartphone isn't a real person doesn't really care whether anybody likes it or not might be something to keep in mind if you start getting hot headed about what somebody else says about something you happen to like. The corporations behind the smartphones don't care either, because they already have what they want (your money). So really, your only enemy here is yourself. If you like something, you like something; if you don't, you don't. You should talk freely about why you do or don't like something, but if somebody else disagrees with you then... well, that's that. Present a calm rebuttal and move on.

That being said, it's unfortunately not all that simple. Aggressive fans are lurking all over the place, and you'll probably encounter countless amounts of them if smartphones are your thing. I can't even sugar coat the fact that there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. Sticks and stones might break your phones, but words will never hurt them.

Image via Teqarazzi, Digital Trends