Friday, 30 July 2010


I had a boss once who came back from a seminar with a new phrase that she just loved using - 'neg ferret'. It sounds like some kind of grim sexual proclivity that has no place on a family-orientated blog such as this.

In fact, it's a name given to people who wallow in negativity. It doesn't matter how good an idea is, or how happy people are - they'll somehow find a way of pissing on everyone's picnic.

There's even a branch of journalism dedicated to neg-ferretery. Stories that are written solely to irritate and upset. I'm sure you can imagine which papers they tend to proliferare in, I don't need to mention them by name.

Yesterday there was a great example of 'neg ferret' journalism, and it didn't pull any punches in insulting its readers. It opened with: "Are you wealthy, sophisticated and smart but don’t care about anybody else? The chances are you own an iPad."

Now, my own experiences of iPad ownership are well documented here. So needless to say I was horrified to find out that I'm "unkind and have little empathy for others." I know my writing can be a little snarky at times, but 'unkind' seems a little harsh.

There's no sense arguing the point either, since it's all scientific fact. At least that's the way Tim Koelkebeck of MyType sees it. He carried out a Facebook poll of 20,000 consumers and came to the conclusion that we iPad owners are just not very nice people.

The survey claims that "iPad owners are six times more likely to be wealthy, well-educated, power-hungry, over-achieving, sophisticated, unkind and non-altruistic 30-50-year-olds. They are self-centered workaholics with an overwhelming interest in business and finance who cherish power and achievement and will not cross the street to help others." It's true, I am 35. So the rest of it must be pretty accurate too.

Or is it? In amongst the staggeringly insulting generalisations, there are also some worryingly obvious assertions. For instance, would it shock you to learn that the iPad is popular with "people who enjoy interacting with new technology"? Hold the front page, we have an exclusive.

When the iPad was first launched, Steve Jobs promised that it would revolutionise our lives, from the way we travel to the way we read. Clearly, he neglected to mention that it would also provide a shiny black mirror, allowing us to gaze blankly into the gaping chasm where our soul should be.

If you're chuckling to yourself, thinking that Koelkebeck is onto a winner, and that iPad users are all mindless, morally questionable wankers, I have some bad news. You're a hopeless inadequate, with neither the versatility nor the sex appeal to handle such a stylish piece of kit. Don't blame me - that's Koelkebeck's opinion.

So, what have we learned today? I've learned that surveys are largely worthless. I've learned that some people consider stating the obvious to be proof of their own expertise. And I've learned that you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

I'm happy to be someone who always does. Even if that makes me a moral vacuum.


  1. I'm a few of the things about owning an iPad (nick blushes) lol

  2. I think I might know the boss you're referring to...