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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:14 AM   #1
Zombie Acorn
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Tell me something about yourself?

I had a strange encounter at work yesterday, our department has been restructured and we are getting to know new people we will be working with in a formal meeting. When asked to tell a few things about themselves most of these people listed corporate brands of stuff they liked, almost like it was part of their personality. I can't recollect anytime in one of these situations in my past that I have heard someone list corporations as "something about themselves".

Has anyone else encountered this? Do you consider "Using Apple products" as something that is part of your personality? I personally find it pretty shallow and sickening that corporations have become this big of a part of our lives. I love gadgets as much as the next tech guy, but I don't consider them part of me or something that defines me.

Given, most of these people were younger, in their early 20s, but with the rants and fighting about Apple and other brands on this site I have to wonder if the majority of people have taken in brands as part of themselves.

I guess it could be a sign of a successful corporate takeover of our culture.

Any thoughts? Has this always been common place or is it a new phenomenon?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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My thought is that the people were not comfortable being artificially forced to talk about themselves personally. I've been in these situations before and considered, and consider, them demeaning. Personal relationships develop naturally over time, not because somebody in HR read something about teambuilding. If someone responded "I'm really into Apple products" it may be because they are gay, or their daughter is in jail for writing bad checks, or because they just don't think their personal life is something that has to be "shared" at the whim of some HR person who is looking to get credit for initiating a teambuilding exercise.

Since apparently we are talking about a group of techies, the smart approach is to put them on a tiger team to go do something techie, like develop a cool new product or service.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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I have begun to see more and more that what you buy and use is more important than why you buy or use in the younger generation. Now there have always been status items and always will be, but now it seems that its not only the cool clothes, but if you dont have the latest phone you are not on the cool kids list, etc.

While I havent experienced your exact situation, it doesnt surprise me.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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@OP: Be thankful you don't work at a UK University. Where I work we have 'self-reflection' sessions at the end of each training event, and it is like being at a Stalinst self-criticism session.

Anyways, I suppose at work I am known as an Apple guy. It's not that i am trying to advertise Apple, but I often hear problems that I know can be solved by Apple products and the appropriate software. The thing is, the same would probably be true about MS if I used Windows as my first preference.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
I personally find it pretty shallow and sickening that corporations have become this big of a part of our lives.
I'm not sure why it causes such a strong reaction in you.

Identifying ourselves through the products we use is a pretty age-old phenomenon.

If you know better than to fall for it, that's great.

But in the end, all we have [some] control over is our own mind.

Improve yours and be sympathetic to others. That's all you can really do.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Watch "consumed" and you'll know exactly why this is spreading through the youth like wildfire.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:15 AM   #7
Zombie Acorn
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I'm not sure why it causes such a strong reaction in you.

Identifying ourselves through the products we use is a pretty age-old phenomenon.

If you know better than to fall for it, that's great.

But in the end, all we have [some] control over is our own mind.

Improve yours and be sympathetic to others. That's all you can really do.
Im not really a fan of the consumer culture to tell the truth. The whole idea of grinding it out for decades just to end up with a house full of **** you don't really need and a car to retire with is kind of disgusting to me.

----------

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Originally Posted by NT1440 View Post
Watch "consumed" and you'll know exactly why this is spreading through the youth like wildfire.
I will have to check it out, although it will probably leave me even more repulsed.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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Watch "consumed" and you'll know exactly why this is spreading through the youth like wildfire.
Dumb question-- which "consumed"? IMDB lists a bunch.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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It sounds a little like saying "I'm a big Lakers fan!".......but updated to include popular gadgets which may be more appealing to tech types. It's a socially acceptable but not really revealing answer.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Dumb question-- which "consumed"? IMDB lists a bunch.
I'm thinking either http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017130/ or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479003/
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:09 PM   #11
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It sounds a little like saying "I'm a big Lakers fan!".......but updated to include popular gadgets which may be more appealing to tech types. It's a socially acceptable but not really revealing answer.
But I think its more than that. You can be a laker fan and not carry disdain for Clippers fans. It seems more and more now...."oh you have an iPhone, I cant be your friend".
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:31 PM   #12
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Im not really a fan of the consumer culture to tell the truth. The whole idea of grinding it out for decades just to end up with a house full of **** you don't really need and a car to retire with is kind of disgusting to me.
My suggestion ... don't be disgusted. Be sympathetic.

People caught up with the desire to acquire stuff in order to feel fulfilled are not evil, just misguided. They need your counsel ... not condemnation.

And it's hard to give good advice when there's a rising ball of bile stuck in your that.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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I agree w/ZA that I would find it weird if people identified with a brand like that and I've worked with a number of very geeky/tech/gadget freaky people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
If someone responded "I'm really into Apple products" it may be because they are gay, or their daughter is in jail for writing bad checks, or because they just don't think their personal life is something that has to be "shared" at the whim of some HR person who is looking to get credit for initiating a teambuilding exercise.
I like reading, movies, cycling, skiing, hiking, video games, collecting stamps, music, plays... there are a number of generic responses that say less about you as a human being than "I'm Bob and I like Apple products."

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
Identifying ourselves through the products we use is a pretty age-old phenomenon.
Sure, brand loyalty is nothing new (Ford/Chevy, Mac/PC, Coke/Pepsi, etc.,) but this takes it to a new level, IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky-Mac View Post
It sounds a little like saying "I'm a big Lakers fan!".......but updated to include popular gadgets which may be more appealing to tech types. It's a socially acceptable but not really revealing answer.
If someone says they are a Lakers fan then that implies they follow the NBA, enjoy basketball and are probably a sports fan in general. If someone says they like Apple products... that means they like Apple products. Hell, even if someone said, "I love Call of Duty" it would be safe to extrapolate that they like other First Person Shooters too and video games in general. If someone said, "I like video games published by Activision" that would be really odd to me.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:01 PM   #14
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
I had a strange encounter at work yesterday, our department has been restructured and we are getting to know new people we will be working with in a formal meeting. When asked to tell a few things about themselves most of these people listed corporate brands of stuff they liked, almost like it was part of their personality. I can't recollect anytime in one of these situations in my past that I have heard someone list corporations as "something about themselves".

Has anyone else encountered this? Do you consider "Using Apple products" as something that is part of your personality? I personally find it pretty shallow and sickening that corporations have become this big of a part of our lives. I love gadgets as much as the next tech guy, but I don't consider them part of me or something that defines me.

Given, most of these people were younger, in their early 20s, but with the rants and fighting about Apple and other brands on this site I have to wonder if the majority of people have taken in brands as part of themselves.

I guess it could be a sign of a successful corporate takeover of our culture.

Any thoughts? Has this always been common place or is it a new phenomenon?
I agree, that's very weird IMO. I've never heard someone describe themselves like that before.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I'm not sure why it causes such a strong reaction in you.

Identifying ourselves through the products we use is a pretty age-old phenomenon.
do.
Idk about that. I'm 42 back in the 80s no one had the same ideas about which corp Walkman they had like people do now with the Mac v Pc or #teamAndroid etc
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:13 PM   #17
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My suggestion ... don't be disgusted. Be sympathetic.

People caught up with the desire to acquire stuff in order to feel fulfilled are not evil, just misguided. They need your counsel ... not condemnation.

And it's hard to give good advice when there's a rising ball of bile stuck in your that.
I don't think anyone's disgusted with a person who says that (maybe extremely sorry for them). We're disgusted at, and condemning, the culture of consumerism (hate the sin, not the sinner?)
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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I agree, that's very weird IMO. I've never heard someone describe themselves like that before.
I've heard people talk this way and I find it eerie.

Some people I would argue are using brand identity as an aegis so they don't have to expose their personality and they're so unsure that they just hide behind it. Of course, some sub-groups do this consistently, so members never really have to make choices, instead they just wear the uniform: as true with Wall Street quants as LA gang-bangers.

To a point, we're all supposed to make choices based on our brands: Ford v. Chevy, Windows v. Apple, Budweiser v. Actual Beer and we use these as shortcuts for figuring out who we want to hang out with.

So, when someone says "I'm an Apple guy" they're making associations with the brand that might run counter to someone who has a framed poster of Bill Gates in their office.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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Dumb question-- which "consumed"? IMDB lists a bunch.
Apparently Im an idiot, I got the name wrong

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1337599/
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
I love gadgets as much as the next tech guy, but I don't consider them part of me or something that defines me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeaanuut View Post
... if you dont have the latest phone you are not on the cool kids list...

I'm sorry. I see your points, but I'm finding the apple-centric signatures amusing in the context of this particular thread.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:31 AM   #21
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The only type of this sort of thing I hear are people talking about video games/Video game systems, Example: Q: What do you like to do? A: I like to play Xbox. A: I like to play World of warcraft.

Is this the kind of thing you're talking about?
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:58 AM   #22
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I'm sorry. I see your points, but I'm finding the apple-centric signatures amusing in the context of this particular thread.
haa haa, well we are on a mac forum. It would be a bit weirder if I had that same signature on a car forum or a photography forum.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:17 AM   #23
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Fasionistas associate with brands.
Techies associate with brands.
Petrol-heads associate with brands.
Foodies associate with brands.
Sports-people associate with brands.


Everything is branded, so if you have a preference for something you're associating with a brand in some way. Apple was a niche for a time and it was easy to get pegged as the 'Apple guy'. Some social teething problems right now as Apple's popularity has boomed, but it'll die down in a while, and being an Apple-guy won't make you stand out.

Brands typically represent a quality or characteristic. You're not really being a Ballmer (I love this company!). You're simply saying, I love this style, quality, exclusivity etc. And that's fine. Many of us are anti-snobs about it and try to hide our love for the good stuff. But good stuff is good stuff
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:41 AM   #24
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Maybe the superficial response is the result of being asked at work. I don't like the idea that anyone should be obligated to talk about their lives outside of work. If faced with questions like that I too might just try to blend in as another wretched consumer. Reality for many people is working long hours at lousy jobs so they can buy things that aren't really enriching their lives in any meaningful way. The most interesting things about people tend to be met with judgement and prying. Why would anyone expose themselves to that? It is sad on the surface but it may just be a way to preserve the rightful boundary between personal life and working life.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:22 AM   #25
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You need to bear in mind that a lot of people who are around the 20 year old mark have actually been brought up with technology since their birth, where as people who are around 30's remember a time before technology. I'm 29 and had computers from a very early age, but they certainly weren't used in the same way socially as a lot of people do now.

With the way that schooling has been pushed in the direction of IT use, VLE's etc couple with the encouragement for peolpe to use networking for social interaction, pushing the onus from real relationships to ones that can be measured in 'likes' and where every word you say becomes forever accountable on a database, and the amount these systems are used on a daily basis its inevitable that people will begin to identify themselves as a 'apple user' or a 'samsung user' as they find different devices that suit the needs of the way they use social media and software.
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