Why We Prefer Safety Over Freedom: The Apple II vs. the iPhone

In 2007, Steve Jobs came out with the iPhone. It was a miracle. It combined three electronics in a never-before-seen way. A computer, a phone, and an MP3 player, mixed to perfection and served in a palatable, petit package. It worked great. There was just one catch. You couldn’t mess with it. No new programs. No create-your-own apps. No creativity. It was Apple software or an iBrick.

Stev Jobs launches the iPhone

In 1977, Steve Jobs came out with the Apple II personal computer. It was a miracle. It combined all the soldered, tedious work into a convenient package.  All the ingredients for a functioning personal computer without the hassle of soldering, provided in a clunky plastic case.  It worked great. There was just one catch. There was no software. You had to create new programs. There were no set-up applications. Eventually you could buy programs from your more skilled or inspired friends, but the Apple II was essentially a blank slate. You had to be creative.

What happened in those intermediate thirty years? What happened for Jobs to trade creativity for control? What happened to the techies that they went along with it? Why was creativity lost? One word: safety. It’s a primary goal of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs- one step below food and water. The human need for safety overwhelms even our desire for freedom, and the iPhone provides this safety. How, you ask? Through control.

Think about it. Without control, what happened to the Internet? Viruses, malware, Trojans, phishing scams, crashes, and the blue screen of death. All these things came about through creativity, though not positive creativity. To combat that, Jobs created the iPhone as a perfect sterile system. Clean, precise, controlled, and utterly static. And people love it. Despite the loss of freedom, despite the control implemented on their lives, people flock to the iPhone and its counterparts. Because, as humans, we desire safety even over freedom.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post from Laura Backes, she enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to Internet service in my area.  You can reach her at: laurabackes8 @ gmail.com.

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