Are Mac users smug and arrogant?

Are Mac users smug and arrogant?

Summary: One recurring meme that frequently gets trotted out on Digg.com and other forums is that Mac users are smug and arrogant.

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TOPICS: Windows, Apple, Hardware
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One recurring meme that frequently gets trotted out on Digg.com and other forums is that Mac users are smug and arrogant. Many Windows users claim also that Apple users love anything that comes out of Cupertino and would spend their last breath defending it.

Is it true?

Mac Guy Justin LongI, for one, am not an Apple apologist. Nor am I an Apple cheerleader. But Mac users are a proud bunch, to be sure.

We love our machines. I've found that Mac users can't wait to use their machines (when they get home from work for example) whereas Windows users can't wait to get away from their computers because they associate them with work. Obvious generalities here I know, but I think that many would agree that it's true.

Apple's current "Get a Mac" television commercials further exacerbate Apple's elitist image problem. The hoodie-wearing "I'm a Mac" guy (played by Justin Long, right) is only too happy to put down the "I'm a PC" guy (journo-humorist John Hodgman). Perhaps it's Apple's portrayal of Hodgman as a dim-witted nincompoop "PC guy" that gets the ire of Windows users? Are all Windows users stocky idiots?

I don't think that it's a fair characterization of Windows users as anyone who's walked the aisles (or worked a booth) at Macworld Expo will attest to.

Perhaps if Apple used a spokesperson that was more humble and self-deprecating Windows users would be less offended. Maybe Apple needs to drop the hoddie-wearing beatnick in the commercials in favor or someone that's more sensitive and universally appealing. Does such a person exist? Who could they use?

Most of the good candidates have already been used:

A bunch more were used in Apple's famous Think Different ad campaign which debuted on 28 September 1997.

So who does that leave us with?

  • Pope Bendict?
  • Mother Theresa?
  • Princess Diana?
  • Steve Irwin?
  • Renaldo?
  • David Beckham?
  • Tony Blair?
  • Oprah?
  • Tom from MySpace?
  • Steven Colbert?
  • John Stewart?

Maybe Apple's agency could hire Jeff Goldblum again? Or change back to featuring real world users in their commercials, like Apple switcher Ellen Feiss?

What's the answer to Apple's elitist image problem? Do they even have one?

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Topics: Windows, Apple, Hardware

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  • You managed to demonstrate it all in a few short paragraphs.

    "I?ve found that Mac users can?t wait to use their machines (when they get home from work for example) whereas Windows users can?t wait to get away from their computers because they associate them with work. Obvious generalities here I know, but I think that many would agree that it?s true."

    That is both smug and arrogant and no I don't think many Windows users would agree. As to the rest well let's see. You have already admitted to owning a Mac. Do you own an iPod? How about an iPhone or an Apple TV? If you answered yes to these questions then loving everything from Cupertino is probably true. Now don't make me refer to the blogs where you play the Apple apologist. Enough said?
    ShadeTree
    • "Obviously generalities"

      Shade -

      I have many friends, colleagues and relatives that hate their PCs because they associate them with "work." But I also have friends that geek out and use their PCs 24/7. That statement was a (hardly scientific) personal observation and wasn't intended to put down or demean PCs. It was a generality, which I clearly stated.

      What about you? Do you own a PC, love it, and use it all the time? You didn't say.

      Regarding your question. Yes, I own a lot of Apple gear. I've owned a Mac since 1984 and it's my job to write about Mac stuff.

      Apologist? I don't think so. I call 'em like I see 'em. I've both loved and hated Apple products?and blog about both.

      Instead of just putting me down, why don't you tell us more about where you stand.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Wasn't really a put down ....

        ... just a view from the other side. Sorry if you took offense. I am an engineer for a PC OEM so my opinion is also biased. I use PC's as a tool to perform work on the job and for enertainment at home. I have a Vista Ultimate X64 PC I use as a HTPC connected to a 50" 1080P Plasma from LG.It has a nVidia 7900 OTX card, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, three Seagate Sata2 drives in a RAID 0 array along with ATSC and NTSC tuner cards. With it I have a DVR, Media manager and gaming rig all wrapped into 1 unit. The sound is run through my receiver via a TOSlink in full 6.1 surround. I use this rig a lot.

        I also have a 17" widescreen laptop with Vista Ultimate X32 that I do my web surfing, Email and other computer tasks on. My wife has 15.4" windows XP laptop and a Vista Home Premium desktop both of which she uses on a regular basis. All four computers are tied together using a Belkin N1 router and Draft N wireless. The Internet connect is 3mb DSL. Both my wife and I enjoy using our PCs at home.

        Let's get back to what you said. You made a generality about Macs and PCs and labeled it as such. That much is true. You did however give it a decidedly Apple spin however and then you assumed everyone would agree. You were being smug and arrogant whether or not it was deliberate. You since admitted that you have friends who hate the PC because they associate it with work and friends who "geek out and use their PCs 24/7" The implication of that statement is if you enjoy PCs you must be a geek or a wierdo. I don't think you set out to be smug or arrogant. You did however mimick the behavior very well.
        ShadeTree
        • You took the words right out of my mouth ShadeTree

          O'Grady, the fact that you make a generality, state you are aware it is a generality, but do it anyway to get a pat in the back from the "many" who would "agree that it's true" is pretty freaking smug and arrogant. It's just like when newscasters say "I don't want to speculate but..." and they spit out the speculation. If they didn't really want to speculate then, I don't know... maybe they shouldn't!

          I sit in front of a PC all day at work. But do I want to stay away from my PC when I get home? NO. I love gaming, and since I don't like consoles the platform that satisfies that need is a PC, since Macs, how do I say it... suck... for gaming.

          I do admit I have an iPod; it's a nice piece of equipment.
          Oh yeah, that reminds me of those tech support people at Apple stores... I mean GENIUSES. Funny how their answer to any iPod issues is "oh you have a PC? you should get a Mac." Oh I'm sorry, I thought your product was supposed to work on PCs as well. Stupid me.

          Apple: Smug? Arrogant? No, no way.
          tikigawd
          • Elite?

            This article has likely offended only a few PC users who love or hate their computers.I enjoy using my PC. I hope Mac users do as well.

            Some vocal Mac users dwell on the "us or them" thing; but to tell you the truth most PC users don't see the world as Mac or PC centric place. I believe this attitude of belonging to one camp or another camp (and their actually being competition between them) is supported by Mac because some of their customers have a need to have chosen something that is better than what most people are aware of. Believing that those PC buying sheep are not smart (we all know how stupid it is to pay less for something that can do more???) seems to make these people feel better about themselves; I am glad they can pay a little extra money for some happiness.

            I laugh at the Mac television ads.

            I have ran XP and other MS software in the past and now have a laptop with Vista on it. I have had no problems. I run the programs (free available on the internet) that are required to maintain security. There is much more software available for PC's, for a better price in almost every case. It is obvious to most PC users that these ads are not indicative of most PC user's experience. That is why there isn't any response to the ads. They are childish.
            Information_z
          • Mac Ads...

            [b]I laugh at the Mac television ads.[/b]

            The only problem I have with the Mac vs PC ads - they're condescending and full of FUD.

            Case in point: There was a Mac vs PC ad that ran where they made it seem that the most fun you could have with your PC was run a spreadsheet while on the Mac side, they were trying to push just how much "fun" you could have with the Mac - by organizing your pictures into a slideshow... Whoo hoo! Now that's definitly an "E" Ticket ride...*

            NOT...!

            Mind you, the first time I saw, er rather heard this ad, I was right in the middle of blasting a group of Ballas in the middle of GTA San Andreas. And for what it's worth - I WAS playing it on my PC.

            So the first thought that popped into my head was that these guys are full of bovine droppings.

            The 2nd thought - Aren't there laws against false advertising and if so, how is it they're managing to get away with it?

            Third - Apple MUST be really dire straits if they're spreading THIS much FUD.

            Fourth - This is THE most fun you can have on a Mac? Doing photo albums..? These ID10Ts need a LIFE! The last time I did a photo album on my PC, it was an OK experience. Took me all of about 20 minutes to post the pictures into the software, drop in a sound track and synchronize it to the way I liked it and export it to MPG2 format. I wouldn't go out of my way to call it "fun" though.

            If anything, I found those ads ultimately annoying - worth of grabbing the remote to see what was on other channels.


            *Now, for those of you who've never been to Disneyland prior to 1982, I'll save you the trip to wikipedia to look it up. Prior to 1982, Disneyland required a ticket from a ticket book for every attraction you visited. An "E" ticket was the highest level ticket for the most popular and best rides in the park.
            Wolfie2K3
          • You bin had :)

            I suspect (!) strongly that, in common with much other advertising, it is not the overt message being passed that is the point. The real point is that you remember what the ad was for. Obviously, you have remembered. Apple doesn't mind that it p*d you off...

            Also - the ads qualify as somewhat funny at first - though not always as it would seem to intend. As you note, big whoop on a photo album - I was doing that when PC's could only do 4 colours @ 320X200 :)

            Others are more amusing - but not always at the expense of PC. Actually the hoodie guy comes across as pretty annoying most of the time... If you want actual amusement, Google yourself the 3 Linux ads based on the 'same' characters :) But remember - what you got out of them is exactly what you were intended to get - that Mac exists, thinks it is a competitor, and thinks it is more 'fun'!
            Freebird54
          • Oh!!

            Yes indeed, dont be so childish, _z
            hbashman
        • Awesome.

          I totally agree with this. Hopefully it gives him something to think about.

          PCs destroy macs for gaming, every time. Now who's having fun?
          xxn1927
          • why does the Mac vs PC debate always boil down to games

            xxn1927

            You haven't apparently even looked at any games for Mac have you????

            there is allot of games for Mac that are on the PC, minus a few heavy hitters like
            the elder scrolls, half-life, half-life 2, but Mac does have others like WOW, DOOM
            III, just look on Apples site, ASPYR, site Macsoft just to name a few.

            before you comment about something make sure you do research and know what
            you are talking about before you comment on something you dont know nothing
            about.


            and the majority of PC games are games not worth playing anyway. i know i have
            both a Mac and a PC. the best Windows PC is one not connected to the net.
            madmax_2069
          • huh

            "and the majority of PC games are games not worth playing anyway. i know i have both a Mac and a PC. the best Windows PC is one not connected to the net."

            Yep, though you don't play the majority, only some.
            If it's not connected to the net, how do you play WoW?

            Cool down...
            It has been stated that PC can't be fun. Opposite has been proven.
            That was the point...
            despil
          • Ha ha sucker!

            I can play any PC game on my Mac. In fact, the latest MacPro will outshine any PC you
            have running PC video games. How do you feel now. And some of the largest Game
            companies have announced their plans to do simultaneous releases for the PC and
            Mac. LOL Your comment is just slightly out-dated.
            JoeysLapTop
          • Surely...

            [i]that[/i] qualifies as smug and arrogant! :p
            elinorH
        • ShadeTree == geek out PC lover

          I think ShadeTree's post just confirmed his own observation that PC users either
          hate their computers or completely geek out about them and use them 24x7.

          Me, I'm a Mac user. I don't care about which brand DVD drive is in the machine, as
          long as it works. Note how PC users have to go into the nitty gritty detail about
          why their machine is so good? All Mac users have to do is press "play" on the
          remote and sit back to enjoy a movie. PC users have to spend the first two hours
          of the video & pizza session telling their guests about their amazing computer
          assembly skills.

          Been there, done that. I'm the movie watcher type, not the petrolhead type.

          Yes, I'm a Mac user. I have an iPod because it works - I plug it in, and there's my
          music! The most work I have to do to manage my library is fix the CDDB entries
          for classical music. I don't have to go to great lengths to rearrange my file system
          to suit my MP3 player, or play stupid games with delete/empty trash/prepare
          these files/copy/check that copy worked...

          I don't have time for that crap.

          Yes I'm smug and arrogant. That's why I got a Mac.
          grail1
      • careful Jason....

        You don't want to sound too Mac-positive OR Windows-negative. The humble Windows users don't like their system being put down, in any way, shape or form. If you have anything positive to say about Mac, OSX or ABM, you will be classified as an apologist, a zealot...or something of that kind.

        Windows users can't understand that anything that doesn't come out of Redmond could be any good, simply because they're used to the wares that come out of Redmond. They know that computers are ALL bad, because they use Windows and have first hand knowledge.

        But DON'T ever call them Windows apologists or zealots, simply because they can't believe that anything un-MS can be any good. Just because Apple doesn't have "90% of the market" and won't run Windows programs.
        mdsmedia
        • Smug and arrogant?

          It seems to me that MAC users tend to characterize owning a MAC the same way others characterize owning a BMW. It's a status symbol!

          Now that MAC has OSX, it can finally do some REAL computing, but PCs (even Windows ones) have been doing that for many years. MACs are supposed to be the Graphics kings, but the fact is that the best graphics currently done on simple "personal" type platforms are done on PCs with Linux OSs. Of course the very best graphics are done on SG machines, but how many people can afford that?

          To be so proud to pay for something as overpriced as a MAC, is smug and arrogant. But believing that Windows matches up is stupidity!
          cheesyone
          • Real Computing?

            Isn't it odd that the primary reason that the Mac is not considered a "REAL" computer is that it can't run the most advanced games? And that the fact that it can run the many thousands of advanced engineering and calculation programs developed for Unix doesn't count?
            danson9
          • 70's Detroit vs Honda. BMW over hype NA

            May be in another half decade, we ALL will see that pure market volume might is not right. The comparison of windows vs Apple is not that of Yugo vs BMW (luxury) - more the Detroit vs the World. During the comparable lifetimes of computers and cars since 1980's, quality and reliability stood the test of time in automobiles; that is why most of us drive Mongolian Asian cars, looking past prejudices.

            Apple is one all-in-one packaging from one reliable company, vs pieced together units from flyby nights! Shout monopoly if you need to, but also see what we get! Even if they are not flashy and glamorous, Apple computing products are lofty!

            Cost - the constant complaint against Apple! This from the land of mini-trucks, luxury 4x4s, etc., and premium European imports. Even if comparable PC and MAC show win pc to be cheaper, what are the dollar amounts we are talking about? A few thousands, or a few hundreds? Cost to own analysis by many experts from both sides have already debunked the myth.

            Smug and arrogant is usually the look we will get from valets who are parking $200000 cars, when we drive up in our old faithful $18000 ten-year old car.

            Does their smug arrogance matter to you and I? Neither should the smugness and arrogance of either Mac or PC users.

            It always comes down to money, and the difference my friends is minuscule, both in the short term and the life of the product.

            I own both platforms, down to the latest win-debacle, Vista. People who own both know that a MAC performs ALL the common functions a PC does. The rest is just bragging bias. That box with four wheels can cost $15,000 or $90,000. What we need is ease of use and reliability all around, all the time, with fiscal efficiency! Madison avenue has us calling mini-trucks SUV, for example. So, the hype and the fools who spend $100000 on a Porsche truck will always be there - that Porsche will never be the 911, GT3, etc.

            The reality is most of the comparisons are not between $7500 Mac Pro or Alienware.
            Va1rum1
          • Re: Smug and Arrogant?

            Absolutely.
            But most folks misunderstand the problem. It is not with the hardward, at least, it doesn't have to be, since the newer Apples have few differences from "normal PCs" inside the box.

            Throw in a beautifylly engineered case, and you have a Mac.

            But "Mac" fanatics do not stop there. They demand that all others agree with them that a "Mac" is just not a box, since it also has it's own "special" OS. They claim that a "Mac" is composed of an OS as well as the hardware. I've never seen such a ridiculous claim since my first wife claimed she was "just getting ready for bed" the night I walked in on her dancing in her nightie for two teenaged boys.

            Considering that almost any other Unix-based OS can easily and legally be installed on a "mac", in place of the "Mac OS", their claim to being different from "Windows PCs" is no longer valid.

            As if it ever was, since there is no such animal as a "Windows PC". Microsoft does not manufacture "PCs", nor do those who own them claim they purchased them from Microsoft. To call them "Windows PCs" is the height of arrogance and smugness.

            Is My Apple Intel iMac a "Windows PC" because half of the mythical "elite Macintosh PC" does not exist on my machine?

            So really, the mythical "Mac versus Windows PC" dichotomy exists only in the minds of crazed Mac Fans who've been deluded through their own F.U.D into thinking a mediocre OS and beautifully designed & angineered case makes an otherwise average PC into an outstanding one. Tack on an extra $200, and you have a "Mac".

            "Smug and arrogant?" Absolutely!!

            Donald McDaniel

            To invent two mythical machines, one called the "Mac PC", the other the "Windows PC", and then try to differentiate them by the OS installed at the factory are most assuredly the height of smugness and arrogance on the part of Mac fanatics.
            zarathustra2010
          • You writing for Mike Cox now?

            That was hillarious! I give it a 9!
            comp_indiana