Rotten Apple

Don't eat the iDeology

By Maggie Quigley

I stumbled bleary-eyed into my Monday morning class, took out my granola bar, and removed my iPod headphones. As I glanced around the room, I realized a few things. First, the dude in the third row has worn that T-shirt for the past three days. Second, every girl owned the same 13-inch MacBook Pro, rested primly atop a hot pink Neoprene Incase. The majority of the guys looked just as uniform: Facebook drones clicking mindlessly on their little track pads. Then, with a paranoid glance over my shoulder—cue the violins from Psycho—I noticed a few kids even had the nerve to take notes on iPads.

Where did these people come from?

I can’t be the only person disturbed by Apple’s tech-monopoly. Macs have switched from the product of choice for artsy kids and graphic designers to abso-fucking-lutely necessary to fit in. Other products offer just as much and yet those goddamn convincing Apple ads keep us coming back for more. We just can’t turn down Justin Long’s baby face.

Apple’s quest for world domination is more dangerous than the subliminal messaging ads of 30 years ago; its small, cute gadgets and catchy commercials induce giddiness. But this generation cannot fall prey to Apple’s cult-like ways; instead, we should seek other superior options.

Take the iPad, for instance. I recently came home from classes to find my roommate lounging in bed watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians, an admittedly guilty pleasure. It’s common sense that anything Mama Kardashian does, I shouldn’t. So imagine my (complete lack of) surprise when in one particularly mind-numbing scene, Kris Jenner absentmindedly toyed with an iPad. I watched in horror as the camera turned to reveal Kris’ iPad screen: trashy soap operas.

Oh. So that’s the purpose of the iPad: for celebrities who shouldn’t be famous to watch All My Children on a trendier screen. Gotcha. I thought iPads were supposed to rival the Kindle, at least that’s what the overly intellectual Apple commercials tell me.

And so in an effort to restore the popularity of literacy without the help of Apple, I support Delta’s new e-reader, the eMagazine. It boasts some beautiful specs (only 12 ounces, compared to the iPad, which weighs in at 1.5 pounds) and a promising price which only add to the potentially free eMag with print magazine subscriptions. I'll take it.

The iPod, Apple's original brainchild that completely rejuvenated the face of the company and brought in at least $2.3 billion since its unveiling in 2001, overshadows the equally remarkable Zune. Sure, the name’s a little lame and the cute little iPod appeals more to the masses than the strange atom-like logo on the Zune, but it still kicks iPod’s ass. Hard. With an enormous 3.2-inch screen, video capability, capacity to personalize (something iPods can’t do), built-in radio, and battery life of 30 hours, it’s certainly a notable competitor.

I know that the Apple stores look sickly cool. The abundance of pretty screens and awesome people in monochromatic T-shirts make college kids weak in the knees. Their “Genius Bar” sounds like an elitist nightclub. And God, what if those new iPods could help you dance like the silhouettes in those crazy commercials!

But before you get sucked into the growing cult of Steve Jobs, remember there are other fish in the sea.

Illustration by Keisha Cedeno.

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