The Idea Dude


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Bling is in our DNA

So I'm standing in the Apple store looking at the 15 inch MacBook with the anti-glare screen. Next to it is a standard MacBook with the glossy screen. It's been a rant of mine about how Apple and other notebook manufacturers have gone down the evil path of offering glossy screens that give off horrible reflections making it difficult to work over long periods of time.

Firstly, I pull up a long web article that consisted of lots of text. My theory is confirmed, that is much easier to read the one with the anti-glare. So I'm thinking that it would be great to trade up since I do spend 10-12 hours a day writing software.

But a strange thing happened. I noticed the photos on the anti-glare Macbook appeared washed out. The glossy screen seemed to show deeper and more vibrant colors. Indeed, the anti-glare screen seemed to put a snowy haze over everything, blacks looked like dark grays and the colors looked dull.

I reached an interesting cross-road in my analysis. Even though, I knew that as a programmer and someone who reads a lot of text throughout the day, buying the anti-glare Macbook was the right logical choice, the emotion side of me kept reminding me that I will miss the vibrant colors and deep blacks. I wondered if I would fall in love with the anti-glare version the same way as I have with my current glossy MacBook.

What happened to the logical, sensible me? My only explanation is that bling is our DNA. We love shiny things. As consumers we feast with our eyes. We buy shiny cars. We put sequins on our dresses. Our skyscrapers are monuments of glass. Every TV and notebook manufacturer has realized that. I played with my iPad the same night and wondered if I would have felt the same way, if the screen was also anti-glare. I half-suspect, I would still enjoy it but it would cease to be that new shiny thing that shimmered in my hands.

Most of our purchases are based on emotions and often on impulse. Yes, we'll compare features and do our research but our final decision is seldom based on logic. We will find ways to justify why we will buy the inferior one simply because it looked better.

Glossy is king and shiny is in. There are often stories of crows that lined their nests with jewelery, beads, marbles and other shiny things. Perhaps we are all birds of the same feather.


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