New technology from Apple always seems to stir up a lot of attention. MyType, a consumer research company, studied both the owners of iPads and the new gadget’s critics (20,000 people total):
iPad owners tend to be wealthy, sophisticated, highly educated and disproportionately interested in business and finance, while they scored terribly in the areas of altruism and kindness. In other words, “selfish elites.”
They are six times more likely to be “wealthy, well-educated, power-hungry, over-achieving, sophisticated, unkind and non-altruistic 30-50 year olds,” MyType’s Tim Koelkebeck told Wired.com.
96 percent those most likely to criticize the iPad, on the other hand, don’t even own one, although as geeks, they were slightly more likely to do so than the average population — and far more likely to have an opinion about the device one way or the other (updated). This group tends to be “self-directed young people who look down on conformity and are interested in videogames, computers, electronics, science and the internet,” said Koelkebeck.
A strong reminder that technology is not just a tool; it is often a status symbol. I remember having a discussion with some students about what it meant to have and display an Apple laptop in class. Students were quite aware that they were sending some sort of message about themselves in their computer choice.
It is also worth remembering that Apple once held its own non-comformist identity as they took on big, bad Microsoft. Today, Apple’s products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad are the height of cool but those who have them may be considered comformist.