Apple is a company and brand that has a lot of fans. Those fans can sometimes make Trekkies look like well-balanced, normal members of society. This just begs the question: is there a line between fanaticism and outright religious devotion?
Let’s first define religion: according to Dictionary.com, religion is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” Well, that sure sounds like religion, but doesn’t sound anything like an Apple fan. I’m pretty sure most Apple fans don’t think Steve Jobs is a god and that he created the tech universe.
Let’s look at the definition of fan then and see if we can find any correlation. A fan according to Dictionary.com is “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.” Well, we can safely say that Apple as a brand fits nicely into the etcetera of the definition. The fans are enthusiastic devotees of the brand and religious folks are enthusiastic devotees of whatever they worship. Is that enough to say that they are one in the same?
BBC News recently ran a documentary called “Secrets of the Superbrands” that looked into that very same subject. While a lot of the documentary looked into how other industries (such as the porn industry) are leading the charge into the adoption of new technologies, it also looked into the fandom of certain brands and how far it can go. It was found that people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to Apple store locations when they have one right next to them. Why travel to the one farther away? Because it was a brand new Apple store.
In all of this, it was found that Apple products light up the same parts of our brains that religious deities do. While this is hardly fool-proof evidence that Apple fans view the brand as a god, it does confirm what we’ve known for years – Apple fans are serious about their devotion.
Do you think that Apple is a god of the 21st century? Or are you just a casual fan of their products? Let us know in the comments.
[Lead image: The Economist]