November 7, 2013

I've Joined the iPhone Tribe

English: Picture of my Blackberry
English: Picture of my Blackberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I understand why religious belief is as divisive a force as it is today. Claiming that one has the "truth" and that everyone else is not only wrong but headed for eternal damnation tends to create a divide. But why should one's choice of cell phone operating system be so damn divisive? Aside from religion and politics, few things seem to inflame the passions more than whether one opts for iOS or Android on their phone. How incredibly silly!

I came to Android from Blackberry a few years ago and from Android to iOS a few weeks ago after buying my first iPhone. In the process, I read several comparative reviews and talked to several people with various phones about what they liked and disliked about them. The level of animosity, bias, and misinformation was astounding. I often found myself asking, "You know its only a phone, right?" but some clearly don't see it that way. Perhaps I'll just never understand tribalism, whether it involves religions or phones.

I replaced my old out-of-contract Android phone with an iPhone because I was ready for a change. Android served me well, and I know there will be things I miss about the operating system. There are already things I miss about how it worked. The iPhone has had a much steeper learning curve than I anticipated. I'm not sure what made me think I would pick it up immediately. I am so used to Android that some of it still seems quite strange. But I am confident I will figure it out in time. There are things I like more about it so far, things I like less, and things that are just different. And yes, there are still several things I miss about Blackberry. I don't see myself becoming a disciple of iOS anymore than I was a disciple of Android. If I become more loyal to one system over another, it will only be because I have more invested in their app ecosystem and would not want to have to lose my investment to move to a new operating system.

The iPhone users told me Android was crap and that within a week I'd wonder how I stayed with it for as long as I did. Well over a week has passed, and I'm not even remotely close to feeling that way. There are things I like better about Android. The Android users told me I was making a bad mistake and that iPhones were just technologically crippled toys. I'd be way too frustrated with its many limitations, they said. This hasn't happened yet either. There are things I like better about iOS.

As common as tribalism seems to be, I suppose it makes sense to view it as part of human nature. In making sense out of our world, we are prone to oversimplify and divide and then treat rather silly divisions as if they were truly meaningful. I suppose I should take solace in the fact that we aren't killing each other over which phones we prefer. If only the same could be said for religion.

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