PC vs Mac: Nobody Wins
There’s a good chance you’re reading this article either on a Windows based PC or on a Mac. (If you’re using Linux, keep reading. This will all apply to you as well.) For years, these two computer platforms have dominated the industry. Chances are you’re either a PC user or a Mac user. Rarely do the two overlap. It’s not uncommon to find people who are very passionate about their choice of computer. The kind of passion that leads to friendly rivalry. But after reading this article on Windows 7 and Mac users, I’m no longer convinced that this rivalry is friendly.
It’s a war.
And it’s a war we shouldn’t be fighting.
I’m a PC user. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to buy a new computer. I carefully weighed up my options. I looked at the pros and cons of purchasing a PC or a Mac. And I made my decision. I bought a bright, shiny red PC. It made me happy.
When I posted my happy news on Facebook, as one does when one is happy, I received two types of comments. On one side were people asking me questions about the specs of my new computer, sharing in my joy. On the other side were Mac users. Their responses put me on the defensive. I was made to feel like I was sub par human being for purchasing a PC. That I was uncultured, ill-informed, and that I was very, very unwise. It made me feel like I wanted to take my happy news and hide it somewhere that no one could find it.
As a PC user, have you ever had a problem with your computer that has caused you frustration and anger? Maybe you were about to finish a massive essay the night before it was due, only to find that a computer malfunction caused your entire work to be deleted? Yeah, it happens. Have you shared this sorrow with friends on Facebook or in real life, only to be met with the reply “It wouldn’t have happened if you had a Mac”? In that moment you’re looking for compassion, for empathy. You’re already down, but then it feels like the Mac user has kicked you in the gut. It’s just not loving.
Some people are just so devoted to their Mac or PC that I don’t think they realise the affect their brand loyalty has on people. I have been guilty of making anti Mac statements in the past. When a friends Mac breaks down or has a software problem (yes Mac users, this does happen), I have made statements that haven’t been helpful. That’s not loving.
Christians are called to love their neighbour (Mark 12:31). And yes, your neighbour may be a PC or Mac user. If you’re a PC user, you need to love the Mac guy. Same to you Mac guys. I don’t think we realise how big a problem this is. And it’s not just something that is out there. I see it on a daily basis at Bible College. A community of Christian men and women training for Christian ministry. And even here the PC Mac rivalry brings hurt and unlove. This needs to stop.
If we have the same attitude to evangelism as we have about our computers, we’re in trouble. If someone is grieving or hurt, do we say to them “Your dead relative wouldn’t be in hell right now if he’d been a Christian”? That comes off as being insensitive and unloving. It’s the attitude that you are right and they are wrong. People are more likely to become a Christian if they are shown God’s love, carefully explained the Scriptures, welcomed in God’s people. This is not how the Mac/PC war is waged. If the same principles of the computer war were used in evangelism, non-Christians would be told that they are stupid and inferior. That Christianity is the perfect way of living and that any other way of living is irrational and foolish. Sure, they may be right, but if it’s not done in love it is harmful and ungodly.
Here’s what I’m going to do about it. I’m no longer going to make any disparaging remark about another operating system. I’m going to love the Mac user. I’m going to engage the Mac user in discussion about their computer, asking questions and listening to their replies. I’m not going to put down their computer to make me feel better about mine. And I want you all out there to help me. Keep an eye on me. Rebuke me when I fail in this. Because God calls me to love my neighbour. And I don’t think this PC/Mac divide is helping me do that.
Here’s your challenge. Do you need to change your approach to the PC/Mac issue? Have you been guilty of being a PC purist or a Mac Snob? If so, stop now. How are you showing love to your neighbour?