"The Fanboy" Lie: They're Secretly Awesome
I often hear talk all over forums about how unbalanced their arguments are and that their hyperbole just ruins the commenting system. You hear all this bickering and yelling on both sides of an argument, which normally just ends in the "my argument is better no matter what you say" conclusion. So one would come to the conclusion that fanboys are a problem for the commenting system. Wrong. Fanboys are essential to commenting and here's why.Fun
Come on, you have to admit that although they may be a bit annoying it is fun and often hilarious to see a "Fanboy" argument. What makes it more fun is to see an argument spark from someone complaining about fanboys. (Or maybe that's the anarchist in me speaking, but either way the comedy of it is still there.) It is just hilarious how sites with very intelligent writers, like The Verge, can have commenters on such ridiculous things. The fact that an article about a new motorola phone can spawn an argument about Steve Job's "reality distortion sphere" is just hysterical, but at the same time sad. (Yes, that did actually happen on Engadget a few years back.) It's great that it can be humorous, but you might be asking what would happen when the arguments get volatile, which they inevitably do.Moderation
No, I don't mean that someone steps in and decides that they should shut down a conversation, quite the opposite. By hearing the ridiculous "Blank Fanboy" argument you see a more reasonable point of view because you think to yourself, "that guy sounds like an idiot." When a fanboy argument breaks out it may be sometimes annoying, but yet it makes people realize that if you isolate only the facts that support your argument, or fabricate things, you cease to make sense. We need to see the crazy to know to avoid it. It's sort of our way of telling what the "normal" way talking about technology is. "Fanboys" are like a certain deviant from a show we all loved until he decided "winning" was more important than the show, who went much took things much further than anyone else did, but never without a form of recovery. He found the boundaries for everyone else so that they didn't have to, though most of them probably didn't want to, and as a result the other characters found what was morally correct. Fanboys stretch the boundaries of what is considered a reasonable argument, which enables us to create a more thoughtful and intelligent community elsewhere.Conclusion
Although "fanboys" can be a little too much in comments sometimes, they are often fun, but also essential to having intelligent thought on forums. It isn't the content of what they provide, but rather that they give us a scale to tell whether someone actually put thought behind what they said or just snuck their way through a comment without putting in too much effort. "The Fanboy" is awesome because he is fun to laugh at and tells us what an insightful comment is versus a negative, thoughtless comment. To "The Fanboy" I say thank you, because you have both made me laugh and made me angry because in the end, you made me write this article, and spending two hours forming semi-intelligent thought and analysis with my excessive free time. Now I'm going to act like a "Fanboy"... It's for your own good. Have a nice day. Except for people with iPhones. You suck.