I don’t know when it happened but at some point I joined the wretched Cult of Apple. A few years ago I got my first iPhone, last year I got an iMac and then recently I picked up an iPad and 4s. And I now find myself suffering from overwhelming self-loathing and gut-wrenching guilt every time Apple announce a new product. It’s just not right.
Technology will do that to you, though, especially Apple’s. Their products are the epitome of design, a beautiful melding of function and aesthetic, practicality and art seamlessly intertwined. More than that though, they represent extreme quality and usability, affordable (barely) luxury that promises to enhance your life, all from a brand that has managed to capture our imagination and, as the evil magician Steve Jobs once famously said, sell us dreams instead of products.
It’s sickening really.
The problem with technology now is that it’s surpassing the realms of functionality and instead entering the world of collectibles, fashion and art. We’re becoming emotionally attached to our products, feeling constant pangs of devotion and desire accompanied by insatiable urges to own and operate them. Apple, Samsung, Sony, it doesn’t matter your poison, they have all created brand personas and end products that spur us into horrendous consumerist cycles. It’s as if we’ve become slaves to technological products instead of the masters of them.
To paraphrase the Buddhists, suffering is desire and it’s this desire for new technology that pulls us down into the depths of self-hatred and jealousy whenever a new upgrade is released and we immediately feel belittled in comparison to our technologically superior peers. I think it’s fair to say that most technology has now gone past the point of dramatic leaps forwards in terms of ground-breaking usefulness and instead just panders to our lust for attachment, ownership and primitive social status.
So maybe it’s time to slow this cycle of constant upgrades and releases down, instead focusing on the point of technology in the first place – it’s ability to enhance and improve our lives. Does a eight megapixel camera really compare better to a five? Does a slightly faster processor in our smartphone actually make any noticeable difference whatsoever? Should we even care about these minor differences? Lets stop being sucked in by the power of brands and product identity and concentrate on the purity of technology as a resource for humanity instead…
And of course I’m just saying all of this because it’s highly likely that Apple will release the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 this year, immediately making all of my treasured and hard earned technology obsolete. Bastards.