There’s been a lot of bitter chatter online lately. People are complaining about a multitude of things. The iPhone 5 is not as exciting as some people would have hoped. The new Mumford & Sons album is too much like their first album and lacks something new and fresh. Apple’s just-birthed Maps service doesn’t seem to be as complete or seamless as Google’s 8-year old product, disappointing many people.
Those who see these products as “boring” seem unsatisfied and even disgruntled, but they really have a deeper problem. There is an undercurrent of entitlement below their complaints.
You can hear the rumblings of it beneath their words like a noisy washing machine in the basement of a home. For most of us it’s an unintentional entitlement, perhaps instilled upon them by society and the hype and drama of modern media. But it’s entitlement nonetheless and it smells foul.
Where is the sense of gratitude and wonder that we used to have? A tech company sells millions and millions of an amazing smart phone, but decided to create a new model by investing untold amounts of money and energy. And then they released it for the same price as the last model. They didn’t have to, but they did. To moan and complain about that smacks of entitlement and selfishness.
Here’s a great rule of thumb: until you create something yourself and then actually ship it, try to first find the positive in the products around you. Those products are the result of someone’s passion, hard work and innate genius. When we compare them to our own twisted, entitlement-driven expectations, we do nothing but insult their creators.
Shipping something is difficult. Shipping something is like setting a platter of precious glassware on the edge of a razor-thin knife. Shipping is an action that flirts with risk and failure. But it is an action that should be applauded rather than attacked.
We can trash an app because of the color of its icon and use powerful words like “hate” and lambast the decisions of the developers as “stupid” or “wrong”. But in doing so we ignore the multitude of positive aspects and elements that make the app worth buying and using. We, the generation of armchair developers and silver-spoon cry-babies. Shame on us.
We might be free to speak our mind, but we also need to grow up and take responsibility for the effect our words can have on others. Our entitlement needs to be taken out back and put down like Ol’ Yeller. No developer, musician or tech company is responsible for granting our every wish and desire, no matter how much we want it.
Stop moaning. Please. Just stop.