Writing this, I was listening to this beautiful song:
Today’s the big iPhone day. Anyone who knows me personally or looks at my Twitter Likes knows I am a massive Apple nerd. I am constantly up-to-date on every piece of news regarding Apple, especially iPad. The news consumption is absolutely fanatical.
The world’s largest, trillion-dollar corporation would seem to be not up my alley, in theory. I believe in many social & political ideas antithetical to the existence of its modern incarnation.
Nevertheless. I am a nerd whose level of obsession can be off the charts. Truly, unashamedly, insanely deep nerdery. I get extremely excited about vanishingly minute details executed flawlessly. Let’s walk through an Apple Store together & you will begin to find out the extent. I can talk about rounded corners for an extended period.
I’m not obsessed with the company, or its employees, or Steve Jobs, or Tim Cook for that matter. What comes out of the company, however, is such a spectacular execution of a vision of suite of deeply-refined, beautifully-integrated products, from iPad packaging to Handoff to AirPlay to Apple Pencil. Wherever you venture, there are Apple hardware, software, & services to help.
“But they’re just tools.” Yes, indeed. But Apple products enable all the work I do. I am well aware there are other devices with largely similar functionality, but none I have ever been significantly excited by. I don’t need to be excited by my tools, but I do like to be. It’s often like a deeply large-scale version of cleaning your desk & then looking for a new desk to replace it with instead of sitting at the desk to do homework.
Yes, there are very real social & economic & environmental impacts of Apple, & I am aware of them. By buying Apple products, I can only hope the impact I create with them outweighs those effects. There also aren’t truly alternatives to Apple devices that allow me to do my work in the world without social & environmental impact, & I don’t think abandoning all electronics until their production has no environmental impact is the answer. I also don’t believe in boycotting the people pointing out those issues because they’re contributing to the issues by participating in the conversation (e.g. wearing clothes while investigating the environmental effects of fast fashion). These conversations are critical, & we should foster them, but in a productive way.
We can’t all be perfect // no one is perfect, I guess. Realistically, I can’t zero out my carbon footprint, though I wish I could. I can’t fix the injustices faced by trans people across the world. While I try to chip away at problems in front me, I need a balance of work & entertainment. Unfortunately, due to the ways of my monkey brain, I can’t be outputting world-changing work all the time. Or even most of the time. It’s a small chunk of my time that creates any real impact. Over time, as I learn more about the world & do more things, I hope & try to make that chunk increase.
So in the meantime, the world is burning, & Apple is the one mini-planet I can nerd over to no end & mostly ignore the consequences. This is because, on a global scale, I am obscenely privileged. But, those rounded corners…