I was frustrated because when I connected the phone, it just started DOING STUFF. without my permission. without asking me how I want to set up things. I'm used to plugging in some technology, setting it up just the way I want, and going on my merry way. When I connected the iPhone, I realized that Apple has a very different relationship with its customers: do it the way Steve Jobs says you should.
After that I started describing myself as a technology dominant: I want to tell my devices what to do, not the other way around. But after the July 16 press conference around "antennagate," I felt a new dimension to the Apple/consumer relationship. In subtle yet specific ways, Steve Jobs' comments reminded me of the verbally and emotionally abusive relationships I've experienced.
I realized, Steve Jobs is America's emotionally abusive boyfriend.
This is not meant to trivialize people who experience abusive relationships (for more info on family violence or intimate partner abuse, visit here). Nor will I take a position on antennagate itself, whether a significant problem exists with the antenna design of the iPhone 4. I simply believe that Steve Jobs and Apple make me uncomfortable because of the ways in which they remind me of emotionally abusive relationships I've experienced.
Some quotes from the press conference, and the emotionally abusive statements they sound like:
- "This has been blown so out of proportion that it's incredible." -- you don't really have a problem. you're crazy. it's just your imagination. someday when you see the light, you'll understand the truth.
- "I guess it's just human nature, when you see someone get successful you just want to tear it down." -- I'm awesome. you're not. you wish you could be me, but the best you can do is be near me. you'll never be as awesome as me.
- "Haven't we earned credibility for the press to give us the benefit of the doubt?" -- don't you love me? if you really knew me/loved me, you wouldn't do this.
- "22 days - it's not like we've had our head in the sand for 3 months" -- you think I did something bad? you're wrong, it could have been worse.
- "We care about every user, but it's important to understand the scope of the issue." -- I love you, but your issue doesn't matter.
- "Try to understand what the real problem is." -- you don't know what you're talking about, only I can tell you what's real and what's not.