#263 – Should I Get a Mac?


I’m a PC.

I’ve always been a PC except for when I played Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? and Oregon Trail on the elementary school Macs.

For four years I worked as a computer consultant and learned everything I need to know about using a PC.

I’m a PC and even if that means I get viewed like this:

I’m all right with it.

At least I was. I’m not so sure anymore.

I’m at the point where I need to get a new notebook and I’m seriously considering getting a MacBook. In spite of my thorough knowledge of Windows and PCs, part of me is thinking about jumping ship and getting aboard the S.S. Macintosh. I already have an iPhone and I plan on getting an iPad at some point. Why not complete the trifecta and get a MacBook?

Because I don’t know if I want a MacBook as much as I want the status that goes along with a MacBook.

If I were to get a brand new Dell notebook with specs similar to that of a MacBook, no one would be impressed. No one would look at my new Dell with envy and want to be like me. They would simply look at the Dell and wonder why I’m not hip enough to get a MacBook.

They would ask themselves, “Man, why is that guy such a PC?”

So maybe instead of wanting a Mac I really just don’t want to be a PC anymore. All of the other cool youth pastors have their Macs and their plaid shirts and I’m still carrying around a Dell and wearing polos. Maybe buying a Mac is the first step towards becoming someone new who wears Toms, shops at Urban Outfitters and listens to Bon Iver.

But it could also be the first step away from who God created me to be.

Obviously God doesn’t care what kind of computer we use if it’s just a computer we use. We shouldn’t, however, identify ourselves by the labels associated with those computers. God created us to be somebody and that person can’t get lost behind the sheen of a Mac or the stigma of a PC. We need to find our identity in God, not in the computer we use.

So if I end up getting a Mac it doesn’t mean I’m hip. If I get a PC it doesn’t mean I’m a square. No matter what I get, I’ll still be as hip and square as I am today but, thankfully, I’ll still also be a child of God.

Are you a Mac or PC? Why and what does that mean for your identity?


14 comments on “#263 – Should I Get a Mac?”

  1. I’m a PC because it is consistently cheaper. The status of the Mac is not a temptation I personally face (although, of course, there are plenty of other temptations to take its place).

    Slightly on a tangent, I was rather taken aback by the outppuring of public grief and adulation and instant hagiography, bordering (I think) on idolatry, when Steve Jobs died last fall. I don’t deny the man’s genius and don’t know all the details of his biography, but the response to his death seemed like an extreme case of losing one’s identity in a label. (For some; I am sure not for all.) The Mac store across the street from my office looked like a holy pilgrimage site.

    Like the selfishness of which you wrote yesterday in “Red Stew,” the temptation to lose ourselves in labels is ever-present. Thanks for keeping us vigilant!

      1. If I do anything that is more Christian than anybody else it is due to an extra measure of grace at that particular moment.

  2. What about the fact that it’s hip to be square? I personally like PCs better than Macs. Mainly for three reasons:

    1) all my stuff I use for research, etc (I have a great Bible/language program called Logos I use every sermons) are all PC based. And you can tell me how much better other programs are or that Mac allows for Word and Power Point, I just don’t like it.

    2) There is no right click. I don’t know why that bothers me but it does. It just isn’t natural to NOT have a right click. Even if you buy a PC mouse then you get a right click function that still means that Mac didn’t think of the most important feature of all mouses–the right click

    3) My brother is a total Mac head and it just cheeses me off to no end. So I guess I’m also a PC because I DON’T want to be a Mac.

    Keep up these blogs. I’m loving em

  3. I should qualify this with “I’m an apple fan boy” and someone I think Scott would say has possibly impacted his apple thoughts, whether a good thing or a bad thing.

    I’m not an apple fan because of how I believe others view me when I have it. I’m a fan of them because there is great purpose and intention that goes into making them. “Idolization” (I call it respectful remembrance) of Steve Jobs didn’t happen because he was the leaders of the cult. It occurred because of what he represented and his willingness to never settle, always strive to better, and continually innovate/create.

    I could go on all day, but to pay respects from a truly technical perspective.
    -I like products that work and I believe you get what you pay for (and I grew up building PC’s, so this isn’t based off one dimensional experience).
    – They consistently last longer (I know there’s exceptions).
    – You can right click actually 🙂 and the scrolling/multi-touch gestures of the trackpad far surpass any PC
    – Logos does makes a MAC version, I have it
    – You can also run windows on a MAC, which I do to, because I operate in corporate business/PC world
    – Apple’s customer service is amazing, and it’s not in India

    While I obviously get passionate about technology as a whole, I strive to not be “that guy” as jbento refers to, because there are enough of them out there that ruin the reputation for the rest of us. So while we might say believe/think similar things, it’s the delivery that separates us from the true crazies. I think there are similarities to Christians too. The minority (which is often wrong/annoying) somehow stands out and misrepresents the majority.

  4. I do want to publicly apologize to anyone I offended with my comment about “idolatry” re: Jobs. For what its worth, since it was the first comment, it wasn’t directed at anyone on this blog; and I wish I’d thought it through more sympathetically before posting. The perils of discourse in the Mac and PC age!

    1. Ditto Scott, I didn’t take it as a direct shot, and one definition of idolatry is when the good becomes the ultimate, and for a lot of people, that is how they defined their relationship to Jobs. Thanks for the follow up Michael.

  5. I’m a PC. I just prefer to not be apart of the culture that practices idolatry. My PC is just a computer and that’s all, it does what I need it to do and it’s incredibly fast. I don’t have any problems with viruses and such because I take a little bit of extra time to take care of my computer. I just find it rather odd that there is a culture centered around a technology company. Although, I will admit it’s an excellent marketing strategy and it does sell products.

    By the way I’m looking at buying a new notebook and I’ve been looking at the “ultrabooks”, mostly the ones that were announced at CES last week.

    The Dell XPS 13 is one I’m looking at: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/dells-xps-13-ultrabook-announced/
    Also, there’s the Lenovo U400 http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/12/lenovo-ideapad-u400-review/

    1. It’s a generalized and blanket statement to say that the Mac culture practices idolatry. There are all sorts of sub-cultures that center on various topics, ideas and brands without committing idolatry.

  6. Scotty! For some reaon, I’ve never come to read a post on your blog, only the blurbs on your fb, which is what brought me here this morning…you had me at Carmen San Diego!!

    Here I sit in my living room, pecking away at my iPad (thus the missed typo I just left because of the hassle to correct it), while my Droid charges on the counter. My Dell laptop is sitting on the floor of my craft room, dusty from disuse & continuously plugged in because its battery (my second after the first died), will also die.

    The Dell was chosen because of price, and because my uncle had one, whose judgment I trust, but whose battery did the same thing as mine. I’m afraid to unplug it because it might wipe out the computer with it & am in constant hope that one final bout with a virus, worm, etc., will not do it in either. It is so slow now (bought in 2007), that I rarely use it & opt for my iPad or Droid instead, but these devices don’t do it all.

    The iPad is first generation. It has a couple dents earned while sedating our three year old with Angry Birds, etc., while dining out. Poor iPad already feels like a dinosaur though it was purchased at Black Friday 2010. The Droid is a new Motorola Razr, thin and sleek, crystal clear screen, amazing…but I originally purchased it when my upgrade came up around Thanksgiving and the screen kept powering off and then stopped charging altogether. Thus, the current phone is my second. Because I bought it over two months ago, the kiosk at Costco couldn’t give me the price difference from the reduction in price at which it is now being offered, although the guy tried.

    All these things could steal my joy, but instead point me to a greater truth. This fallen creation is not my home. Something will always happen with my latest gadget, or something newer and seemingly better will come out, but my heart is set on eternity. Nothing that man could create will ever fill the vacuum that only Jesus fills. So buy that Mac Book for its durability or PC for its price, and be glad your identity is in Him & not in a pile of plastic and circuitry. Thanks for making me think this morning instead of getting lost in Thomas the Train & Cars 2 cars!

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