I couldn’t agree more. It feels like so many domains have become a team sport when there’s really no need for it (in my field of video games, this is especially true).
My own example is an interesting one. I have a new MacBook Pro, so I now apparently wear the label “Apple fan” on my forehead. Most people in my office assume my phone is an iPhone. But once or twice, I’ve corrected them and said “Actually, I’ve got a Google Pixel.” The reaction is always the same: “Oh, wow…really? But I thought you were an Apple fan!!”
I sort of politely smile or laugh at this response, but it’s actually bizarre if you stop to think about it.
You describe it very well though; can’t I be a user of various products without being a diehard devotee of the company who made them?
Prior to the MacBook Pro, I had a first gen Microsoft Surface. Shock, horror!
My technology decisions confuse the hell out of some of my colleagues, but really, there’s no reason for them to be confused. When people ask me why I’m so wildly unpredictable, I just say “Well, I like technology and I like to try new things — if an interesting product comes out that I want to try, I’ll get it, I don’t care who made it.”
It (needlessly) leaves people scratching their heads. Weird.