Recently, with arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4, a new batch of drop tests comparing its durability against the iPhone 5 have surfaced on the web and spread around in most tech blogs I can remember.
I for one think that these videos have stopped being informative a long time ago, and now they are downright disrespectful for two reasons: One, the tests conducted generally in these people’s backyards have less scientific proof as Mulder’s escapades during the 10 seasons of The X Files. Second, because the point of this video is to make people cringe instead of informing them. It’s disrespectful not only to everyone involved in the development (or copying) of the device, but also to every single person who covets the device being destroyed but can’t buy it for reasons as simple as that they can’t afford it.
Now I do have a sense of humor. Back when Will It Blend first appeared, blending golf balls, credit cards, used batteries and even iDevices, they made me chuckle. I was curious when iFixIt started releasing videos regarding the durability of the iPhone 4, 4S and 5. Is the iPhone 5 body really that easily scratchable? But that’s it.
The day that followed the iPhone 5 launch, I can remember seeing a video of one idiot coming out of an Apple Store holding an iPhone 5, shouting at the huge line eager to purchase their devices that he was about to conduct an experiment, and dropping the phone face-down against the concrete. The phone’s screen obviously shattered completely, and while the crowd (and myself) cringed instantly, the idiot closed his act saying that this was the first broken iPhone 5 in the world.
It all went downhill after that. People started filming their phones being dropping from their hands, couches, counters, rolling over them with cars, throwing them around, doing pretty much everything that breaks most things we all own.
But why do these people do this? It’s not for the benefit of Science. It’s definitely not for the benefit of their viewers. So all I’m left with is that they do this because it’s an easy way to call attention. Maybe get a few extra thousand views if it gets published in a tech blog (and hey, we know it will). But am I the only one who finds this disrespectful? Every time I see a new post with one of these experiments (I have stopped watching the actual videos a while ago), I think that an iPhone 5 with contract starts at U$800 here in Brazil. I think of all the people who would do anything to get one. I think of the kid who sold his kidney for an iPad.
Although I can’t understand why people do stupid things like that, I know that it’s inevitable. What I do know to be possible is that major tech blogs could just stop posting every asshole throwing a phone against the floor until it breaks. But hey, before video views come page views, right? And who wants to see that hit the floor?