David Pogue recently wrote an post titled Hate Mail and the New Religious Wars in Tech. Pogue argues that people’s opinions on technology are largely determined by what they have already purchased. The amount of money being invested fuels the passions that inevitably flair in tech debates.
When you buy a product, you are, in a way, locking yourself in. You’re committing to a brand. Often, you’re committing to thousands of dollars in software for that platform, or lenses for that camera, or e-books for that reader. You have a deeply vested interest in being right. Whenever somebody comes along and says, in print, that there might be something better – well, that’s scary.
In that case, you don’t just perceive the commentator to be putting down your gadget. He’s putting you down. He’s insulting your intelligence, because that’s not the product you chose. He’s saying that you made the wrong choice, and all of those thousands of dollars of apps and lenses and books were throwing bad money after good. He’s saying you’re a sap.
Who would have thought? Even in the twenty-first century, our hearts reside in the same places as our treasures. I remember reading about that somewhere….