June 12

Can’t We Just Learn To Love?
Seven steps to achieving inter-platform actualization

In yet another undoctored photo from his celebrity file, Dave makes nice-nice with Bill Gates, ending a bitter, decade-long feud. Minutes after this shot was taken, a new feud erupted over who was the more handsome. The two have not spoken since then.

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

We could all learn a lot from our friends in the field of psychology. Were it not for them, who else would be out there trying like the bejeepers to find quick and inadequate answers to today's unimportant questions? And just because psych majors invariably resemble sweater models doesn't mean it's not a scholarly and legitimate science. So, anyway, I was kicking back with the classic masterwork of psychological scholarship, Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins (4 1/2 out of five stars on Amazon.com's rating system), when I came to an epiphany: Why can't we just learn to love our counterparts in the PC world?

After all, now that the government has intervened in the affairs of computing like a caring family counselor and, as usual, solved all of our problems with a few keystrokes in their Word Perfect template, we really have no reason to carry the old baggage that has kept us so long from closure. It's time to let the healing begin.

I thought I should do my part in this healing process. After all, even the folks at Apple have said that I go too far in the hurtful words I've dealt to Windows users. Maybe they're right. Maybe I've just been lashing out at Microsoft as a way of displacing my own self loathing. Maybe I could use this forum not to promote hurt but to build bridges, tear down fences and, possibly, to improve my site's rating on iReview. (Three stars indeed! And they didn't even spell my name right! They must be using one of their own keyboards.) And so, precious readers, sweet spirits, I offer you these helpful steps for realizing intra-platform actualization.

1. Be supportive. When somebody comes up to you and says, "Dude, I just got this sweet new Pentium III," resist the urge to tell them that your G4 is twice as fast.

2. Don't bottle it up. Being supportive doesn't mean that you have to tuck away your feelings. Turn your contempt into constructive advice. Example: "A new Pentium III? Wow, that's pretty neat. I know where you can get a good deal on a replacement Rambus card."

3. Listen. Don't just hear the words of PC users. Actually listen to them. Sometimes it helps to restate a PC user's words to make them feel that you're listening. PC user: "My %^&#%^ piece of Windows %@$%#&* crashed again!" Mac user: "You're using your words to let me know that your piece of Windows %@^%#$ crashes all the time, and that makes you feel anger."

4. Empathize and reach out. You can't know what someone else is going through, so don't pretend. But let them know that you're there for them. Example: "As a Mac user, I can't understand what hell your PC is putting you through. But, if you need to get some work done, you can borrow my G4."

5. Empower. Let the PC users know that they are good people; they just use a bad operating system.

6. Focus on the present. Argument is healthy, but it's never helpful in a relationship to dredge up the past. If you find yourself in an argument with a PC user, don't bring up topics like Microsoft stealing its OS from Apple or Microsoft using unfair business practices to build its monopoly or Microsoft never coming up with an original idea of its own or Microsoft scamming consumers with inferior software.

7. Closure. Never allow wounds to fester. Always talk things over with PC users when a problem occurs, and wrap things up before you go to bed, even if it means taking out a hammer and smashing the NT proxy server at your work so that you can use FTP. Just don't allow the problem to linger. Close an argument with a positive. Example: "Your PC has value. It has a right to exist. I affirm your PC. It has plenty of positive qualities like, um, er, well, that's a really nice monitor."

If you follow my advice, you'll soon find yourself on the path of mending your relationships with all of your PC-using colleagues. And take it from a man who has all the qualifications of a board-certified psychologist: That's good juju.

Post a message in the Creative Mac World Wide User Group.

Dave Nagel is the executive producer of Creative Mac. An eight-year veteran of the print publishing world, Nagel covered a broad range of topics in the areas of technology and marketing. As a Mac psychofanatic since 1987, he's finally landed his dream job: earning a living writing about his favorite topic. If you have something to say, please send a polite e-mail to [email protected]. (Let's not try to bring him down from his euphoria too soon.)

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