Victoria Gee – Macintosh Computers and Commodity Fetishism

Posted: September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

         When I walk into any one of my classrooms, all I see are rows and rows of Apple’s Macintosh computers. Nearly everyone has one. They are so distinctly products of Apple and each look identical to the next. Many of my classmates have claimed to give a human name to their computers. They even idolize and protect them like a human. I think this is a perfect example of commodity fetishism. We don’t recognize the social relationships that physically got the computer onto the self and into our homes. Instead, we create a social relationship with the actual inanimate object. We treat Macintosh computers like a beloved child of ours. It is as if our computer had just been born with a price tag the moment we purchase it. Apple did an outstanding job marketing their product as a divine and revolutionary entity. Their campaigns sold the idea of being a unique non-conforming individual with their slogan “Think Different” in contrast to IBM who had been selling “Think.” I think this is ironic as Apple products are the staple of conformity. Almost everyone has one and each Macintosh computer looks identical. Regardless, we buy a Macintosh computer to be different and to allow the object to form our ideal identity. This is a commercial that was shown during the 1984 Superbowl introducing the Macintosh computer to a mass audience for the very first time.

-Victoria Gee

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