It’s sad when people fight about things that don’t really matter. It seems to happen whenever and wherever people meet, and the topic of argument can range from religion to politics to pizza toppings; all this dynamic serves to prove is that our species really likes to focus on our differences over our similarities.
Geeks should know better. Didn’t most of us have enough to worry about while growing up and being pegged by the normal kids for being “different?” We should be united by our love of tech over the specifics of what kind of tech we love. I’m not talking about playful ribbing between people who are otherwise friendly to one another, but they agree to disagree. I’m talking about the kind of crap that Techfoolery’s Ashley Esqueda had to put up with recently from some bad apples in the Android community for daring to say that she’d purchased an iPhone 5 as a second line. This wasn’t impish, lighthearted humor sent in her direction with a wink to let her know that, even if her decision was at odds with the rest of the community, she is an adult with the right to make her own decisions. This was death threats and vulgar name-calling. This was the sort of thing that turned her off to the idea of going to an Android event that she was otherwise planning to attend because she knows that the people who raise such a troubling ruckus over someone’s choice of a freaking cellphone can’t be counted on as sane, stable members of society, and at least a few of them would be there. Even if overall kindness at the event would no doubt prevail (in spite of appearances, not most people on planet Earth are totally bonkers), it only takes one not-right-in-the-head weirdo to follow through with threats of death or violence.
As Ashley says:
“Civil discourse is great. Criticism is great. Sociopathy over some circuit boards and tiny screens is not great.”