Is There Such a Thing as Technology Inferiority Complex? Do You Have It?

By Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A contributed article on Forbes has something intriguing to discuss: technology inferiority complex. In light of the quite well-known Bendgate issue, there is apparently a growing tendency among fans of different device manufacturers to basha competing brands whenever they have the chance for it. This bashing typically happens whenever a new product is launched and whenever some bungle is committed.

Defining Technology Inferiority Complex

Inferiority complex is broadly defined as the lack of self-worth arising from the conflict between the desire of being noticed and the fear of possible humiliation. Hence, the phrase “technology inferiority complex,” in the context of how it was discussed in the Forbes article, refers to the “insecurity” of certain tech product enthusiasts who compulsively defend their favorite brands or tech products while attacking those that they deem as threats because they could possibly be better than the brands or products they are over-eagerly supporting.

It can be demonstrated by what’s been happening to dedicated Apple fans who feel the urge to strongly defend the case of bending iPhones while attacking competing devices over supposed flaws. Likewise, technology inferiority complex is exhibited by Samsung fans who endeavor to further the “Bendgate” issue to the detriment of Apple. HTC fans, on the other hand, keep boasting the HTC One’s supposed premium look and feel while Sony fans drum up the accolade granted by DXOMark on the Xperia Z2 and Z3 cameras. There are also those who brag about LG’s engineering feat in coming up with a smartphone with very minimal side, top, and bottom bezels. These tech product fans can often be seen on online forums and news or blog comments sections incessantly defending or bragging their favorites while taunting competitors. They notably have the habit of thoroughly scouring the Internet of problems in competitor products to make sure that the products or brands they are supporting will always appear as the better option.

Technology Inferiority Complex Signs and Symptoms

It’s quite easy to spot someone who suffers from the technology inferiority complex. The following are the most noticeable and telling signs and symptoms (as derived from the discussion on the Forbes article cited earlier):

  • Getting too excited over a tech product (e.g. smartphone) announcement or launch
  • Frequenting forums too often to post comments or links to articles that highlight the features or achievements of favorite devices or brands
  • Being overly argumentative to defend the claims of favorite brands or products or to raise criticisms against competing brands or products
  • Putting emphasis on and re-echoing whatever defects or issues encountered by competitor’s products to make the preferred product appear superior
  • Being too conscious about owning the most recent version of tech products, both hardware and software
Cropped screenshot from the official Samsung Galaxy Tab S microsite (

Cropped screenshot from the official Samsung Galaxy Tab S microsite (

Unable to Confidently Like What They Like

All of these manifestations of technology inferiority complex boil down to one common attribute: the inability to be confident about liking a specific tech brand or product. There seems to be a compelling urge to defend or attack, or doing both.  Instead of simply choosing an option based on the facts and reviews laid out, there always seems to be need to brag, defend, or assail.

This is not really anything new. Even before smartphones, technology inferiority complex already existed among technology buyers. Automotive enthusiasts, in particular, have been quite active in exchanging rants and arguments over numerous forums. Those who suffer from technology inferiority complex tend to compensate for their lack of self-assurance in liking a particular product or brand by making sure that others don’t look any better.

Gimmicky Technology and ‘Childish’ Marketing

Perhaps one of the reasons why technology inferiority complex continues to exist (even nurtured) is the way manufacturers have been marketing their products. Heated arguments among smartphone brand fans, in particular, are aggravated by “childish” actions like the way Samsung, LG, Asus, Sony, and several other companies taunted Apple over the “Bendgate” problem. While potential tech product buyers are suffering from technology inferiority complex, manufacturers are exhibiting superiority complex. Instead of aiming for innovation, device manufacturers are focusing more on the marketing and introduction of gimmicky product features that don’t add anything significant or practically helpful to users.

By Romazur (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Romazur (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Addressing the Complex

The bottomline for this technology inferiority complex is the excessive association with a particular brand, platform, or specific tech product. In harsher terms, it’s the “fanboyism.” Obviously, this is not something that benefits technological advancement since the support is on the brand, platform, or product instead of the features or capabilities. Ideally, buyers are expected to choose the things they buy based on practical benefits. This may sound preachy but it’s really high time for buyers to ditch the “brand fanaticism” and to avoid comparing and rationalizing choices based on brand preferences.