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>> November 10, 2022 - Linux elitism

"People who don't program shouldn't use Linux."
"GUIs are trash and people who need them shouldn't use Linux."

I am so, so sick of this attitude that someone has to be a technology expert to use Linux. I'd like to explain why.

First off, a disclaimer: I am saying all of this as an annoying Arch user studying computer science. I am not super qualified, but qualified enough.

The whole reason people advocate for switching to Linux is because it is not a massive privacy issue the way Windows (and now Mac, too) is. Instead of every keystroke being sent to Microsoft's servers by default, or the URLs you access on Safari being sent to both Apple and Tencent (yes, the Chinese game and entertainment company!) logging will never be turned on by default, and will only ever be used to improve applications. Linux gives you more control than Windows or Mac as well, but this control does not have to be used unless the user wants it. Simply having the option for this control is an improvement.

I believe that any user, no matter how technologically uneducated, would likely be better off on a user friendly Linux distro such as Mint over a spyware OS such as Windows. In fact, I've seen multiple success stories where old parents are forcibly switched over to Linux by their kids that are sick of being tech support. Mint, Pop, KDE Neon, and more have been user friendly for a decent chunk of time, but this elitist Linux attitude keeps pushing potential users away from these too.

"I'm not good enough with computers to use Linux."
"I don't know how to use terminals."
"I'm not smart enough to learn this."

These are all things I have heard from people that would otherwise be willing to try. The problem with Linux elitists is that their opinion spreads outside of their bubble, and scares away what could have been future users of Linux. I always try to convince them otherwise, but it is so hard to go against what they have been hearing for months or sometimes years. The only solution is to ensure that people do not take these elitist attitudes seriously in the first place.

If you genuinely believe that people who don't program shouldn't use Linux, then I believe that you are only using Linux as an ego booster. Not to be repetitive, but it's good that people who don't program feel comfortable using Linux. This means that we are getting closer to the average computer user not using an invasive spyware OS!

There will always be distros like Arch, Gentoo, and Void for the power users who want more control over their system. If you insist on being elitist, that is okay. At least keep it contained to distros like this, and please do not discourage people from trying user friendly distros.

If you want to at least try Linux, but have been scared off by an elitist attitudes and are wary of trying, please contact me! I will happily help you get set up. Remember that if you're not ready to let go of Windows/Mac entirely, dual booting is always an option.

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