It started off small enough. “Honey, can I get an I-Phone ? I know you don’t like Apple but I like this better”. We’re about 4 years into owning Apple products in the house, and all the non-techies in my family are surrounded by them.
I fought. The battle of wills was titanic. But the wife did prevail, getting her Iphone, and agreeing not to extend it past just a phone. The first brick in the wall.
Next came my kids. We got them both I-touches. I didn’t worry about it much, given that they were used as toys. They’re pretty much gone now, and I called that one correctly; they were toys only. But having gotten used to I-Touches, the next natural step for them both was I-Pads. And now they both have one.
My boy still has a toy, pretty much, although the day is soon coming when he’ll do schoolwork with it. And he already looks up how to spell things with it. But my daughter writes her papers with the thing – it’s hard enough to get her to use an electronic source to make her school papers (Don’t ask – I don’t get it either), but to make her sit at a computer ? At least she can curl up in the backseat, or on the couch, and type out her latest English assignment.
My in-laws converted to some flavor of Apple computer. I was pissed. The same guy who constantly told me “I don’t want it to be expensive” just cuts loose with over $1500 for a computer for the house. But they seem to like it.
Yesterday, my Mom’s birthday, completed the circle. She bought her own I-Pad, given that all she does is play games, and her PC is still a mystery to her other than using the browser and Skype. Now comes Facetime with her grandkids.
I stay away from all the Apple products in the house and refuse to support them. I get them running on our WiFi – it’s not difficult for me, obviously, but it can be a mystery to a 10 year old why the password has to be so long – and make what feels like obvious suggestions occasionally depending on what they’re doing. I have no desire to dip my toe in the Apple ecosystem, especially at my age.
But it really doesn’t matter. Now, I’m in the position of being the dinosaur of computing in the family, the only one championing Android and Windows, while everyone else is Imessaging and Facetiming. Literally, they all laugh at me, the bunch of jerks. I had to get Minecraft running on the In-Laws computer. Nobody updates the version; none of them even ask me.
For me, I have absolutely no interest or need in an Apple product. Maybe that’s because they’re built for the 90%, not the 10% technically inclined like me. Or maybe I’m being passed over technologically. And the great concern I once had, that this would take over the household and supplant my PC’s, did not happen. I got movies, TV, and books going on the “idiot level”, and everyone has simple access to these things. So no threat from the Apple devices – but a lot of curious wonderment at how much people love these ridiculous things.
As I attempt to deal with Apple a few aphorisms became apparent.
It either works, or it doesn’t. Apple OS’s seem to do things in a few actions. There are no deep, buried secrets for the dedicated to mine, like the “mid-geek” OS’s of Windows and Android. This is a strength in that my kids aren’t lost in configuring their devices, whereas I can spend hours making sure that Windows 7 is configured correctly on four PC’s.
The best part of that one is, my wife hates it when I say that, for no reason I understand.
Apple is for idiots. This perjorative speaks the truth to those who want to understand how their computers work – and forget the irony of being Windows gurus and not having a clue how various *nixes work. But it also fails recognize that “the thing” is the point – whatever application people are using – and as obvious as it is, Facetime simply works, even if I can’t participate from my Desktop.
The bright side is – most of the idiots seem to have disappeared from PC gaming. Most. I assume they all bought consoles and Apples. I still get my work tool and can game all night with the like-minded. But the days of walling myself off from Apple, at home at least, are clearly over.