If you’ve read this weblog for any length of time you probably know that I hold good products in high regard. With all apologies that might be due to Android users, in most cases to me this means Apple’s iOS products, like the iPhone and iPad.
I’ve used Android, BlackBerry and iOS smartphones. While I liked the Android platform far better than the BlackBerry (athough I thought the Curve was among the best smartphones available in 2008), despite past best efforts I can’t get excited about it.
Having said that, I’ll also say my opinion could change tomorrow…that I am not adverse to spreading the praise. Not too long ago I wrote that I thought the Samsung Galaxy Note II looked like it could be a pretty awesome device, from what I had seen of it, but that final judgement would have to be reserved for the hands-on after it was actually released. There’s been a lot of devices that looked great on paper, in video and in pictures…it’s too bad we won’t be using them there, but in the real world.
I’ve also written positively about Windows 7–twice–and been openly critical of the iOS devices that I thought had issues or could have been better.
One of the rules I like to follow was taught to me long ago: You can criticize as much as you want, about whatever you want…but you’d better have a suggestion for improving whatever you’re criticizing.
Second rule: You can be critical, but you must also be responsible and fair. As I’ve said at least once, bashing anything–Apple, Android, Windows, OS X, Obama, Romney, whatever–for the simple sake of stirring up negativity and bad feelings and hateful emotions makes the writer just as ignorant and manipulative and irresponsible as a controversial talk show host simply looking for ratings…or Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Yes, I know these are weblogs, which means they are full of opinion. But I was also taught that when the teacher calls on you and asks for your answer, perhaps your opinion, you need to support it with whatever pertinent facts you can scrape together. That’s how you make compelling arguments, and how you just might convince people to change their opinions.
All of which leads me, after a bit, to a recent article in Macworld concerning the Saturday Night Live sketch last week about iPhone bashers. If you follow this business as I do (or even if you don’t), this hilarious five minute bit of comedy was a great comeuppance.
Let’s set a few things straight about it:
- First, some have said it was racist or demeaning to those of Chinese heritage. I didn’t agree with that. The actors didn’t attempt the obvious overused physical characteristic that most would–the general physiology that makes Asian eyes appear different from, say, a Westerner’s. Yes, they spoke with broken English accents in a Chinese-affected dialect…but would it have made sense for them to speak Elizabethan English?
- Next, the iPhone 5. It’s not wrong to criticize it–it’s not perfect. It has some things wrong with it, that could work better than they do. It’s the way the criticism has been made that’s annoying. It’s in a dismissive sort of way, like “It doesn’t have NFC (Near Field Communications)–what a bummer, the iPhone 5 is a big disappointment. We expected so much more, Apple let us down, this is the beginning of the end for them.” Okay, WHO created the overhyped expectations, who told you it would have NFC? Apple? Or you, the reviewer…did you just expect it would be there? This sketch highlights these comments perfectly.
We might not agree on the same subjects…but let’s at least agree to be responsible and fair, and civil in our discussions.