Apple – religious extremism

By Vlad Cocostîrc

In recent years, Apple has become one of the most appreciated brands on the technology market. Its growing success has created a cult amongst its fanatic users.

A research done by neurologists on Apple enthusiasts has concluded that their brain’s reaction when seeing brand-related symbols is similar to the reaction of religious people when they see religion symbols and images. The brand devotion of Apple fanatics becomes identic to the devotion of religious people towards their beliefs. Even Pope Benedict XVI said in one of his speeches that technology consumption becomes a threat to religion and the Roman Catholic Church.

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The graph above shows symbols of religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, but it also shows the symbol of Apple which is much taller than the ones of the religions. This image can be regarded as a reference to the fact that the Apple community is continuously growing in popularity, while religion loses it. Owning an Apple product in order to be part of the Apple “religion” can be regarded as baptizing. Also, the life of Steve Jobs contains mythological elements similar to Jesus Christ:

The call to adventure: joining the Homebrew Computer Club.
A helper: Steve Wozniak.
A wondrous journey: the explosive growth of the early PC industry.
Trials: competition from IBM and failures like the Lisa and Apple III.
More helpers: the engineers and artists who created the first Mac.
Apotheosis: Jobs is anointed as the technology industry’s seer, a prophet.
Flight: the expulsion from Apple and a decade in the wilderness at Next Computer.
Resurrection: the return to Apple.
The boon that restores the world: the iMac and subsequent hit products.

Mac fanatics have developed a feeling of martyrdom. By using Mac in a society dominated by Window users, they feel like they have made a “sacrifice” by choosing Mac and that everybody else persecute them for their choice. Even more, at the opening of an Apple store, the first visitors were welcomed by the staff in a manner similar to rituals of initiation. Also, Apple users tend to regard the ones who don’t own such products as inferior.

All in all, Apple can be compared to religious extremism as it is uncommon for a brand to be so similar to religion from so many points of view.

 

Works cited

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/05/19/apple.religion/

http://archive.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2002/12/56674?currentPage=all

Further reading

http://www.wired.com/2013/08/how-jobs-turned-technology-and-media-into-religion/

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