From the get-go, Apple turned me into an outsider. Starting in 2001, a new iPod was released almost every single year -- the iPod Color, Mini, Nano, Shuffle, Touch. From day one, we were trained to want more storage, more color options, and spend more money. But at $300-$600 a pop, I never saved up enough to buy one and felt pretty uncool, surrounded by a sea of creepy dancing silhouettes literally everywhere I went.
Remember the days before Apple's icy grip on us tightened to the point of vice-like? I do. Look, nobody was thrilled about waiting 45 minutes to download one song on Napster, or carrying around a 25lb book of CDs, but that's just what you did back then. iTunes changed the way we obtained music, but it was the iPod that hooked us into Apple's formidable upgrade cycle, and trained us to look down on our peers who eschewed it.
This was a specific type of adolescent angst I assumed would wane. It never did -- which I learned the hard way after purchasing a perfectly good, affordable Zune in 2010. I might as well have contracted leprosy; my friends still refer to the purchase as a severe lapse in judgment, and assume I only bought the Zune as a misguided act of nonconformity… I just liked it.