2011-02-17

Why is there such strong love and hate for electronic gadgets?

The article “Gadget Politics: Why Tech Fans Share the Love and Hate” by David Pogue on Scientific American covers an interesting issue: Whenever products such as the iPhone or Android phones are discussed, one gets very emotional reactions from participants. The article examines why that is.
For his iPad review, Pogue made an experiment and wrote two parts: One in favor of the iPad, another one against it. Curiously, Apple haters complained about the former, while Apple fanboys complained about the latter. Quoting the article:
[...] I was witnessing a well-documented cognitive bias: the hostile media effect. It says that people who hold strong opinions about an issue perceive media coverage of that issue to be biased against their opinions, regardless of how neutral the coverage may be. But that phenomenon usually applies in politics, not electronics. That could only mean one thing: that gadget brands have, in fact, become politicized.
My theory: The internet gives a voice to people with low self-esteem that you don’t normally hear from. Those people frequently identify with things external to them, be it sports clubs, political parties, gadgets, etc. They tend to be extreme in both their love and their hate (call it “drama”).

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