Walt Mossberg is a legend. I mean it—he’s someone I’ve tried to emulate for most of my professional career. He’s made a great living testing gadgets, hanging out with influential technologists, and giving everyday people advice on how to better use their consumer electronics.
But lately, it seems like Mossberg’s love affair with tech is dead. His columns have become long laundry lists about how things used to be or could be better. It’s like he’s lost all joy in writing about consumer electronics—and it’s totally bumming me out.
Mr. Mossberg’s grumpy streak started when he unexpectedly wrote the blog post “Apple’s newest products are mostly derivative” earlier this year. Ouch. That one was a stinger, but fine. Most people, including Gizmodo, agree that Apple is slow to adopt new technology. I figured the post was just a simple contrarian story from a mainstream tech reporter. But it didn’t end there.
Walt kept grumbling about the state of affairs in consumer electronics. One month later, during the same week his parent company launched a new gadget blog called Circuit Breaker, Mossberg declared the golden age of gadgets over. He wrote that the “glorious era of rough-edged experimentation blossomed mainly in the 1990s, right up to around the iPhone and Android launches of the late 2000s,” which basically means that all us millennials who are excited about the Internet of Things missed the glory days.
Mr. Mossberg’s streak of grouchy blogging continued with recent stories like “The tyranny of messaging and notifications,” “I just deleted half my iPhone apps—and you should too,” and “TVs are still too complicated.” My god.
Was he always this cranky?
Walt needs to control-alt-delete his attitude. This is the same guy who used to make it fun to read about transferring files and opening multiple tabs in web browsers. He really seemed to enjoy all of it, and it made me want to become a tech reporter more than ever. But now, it seems like the romance has ended, and all that’s left is someone who’s never happy with his electronics. He sounds like a luddite.
So for my Gizmodo’s Senior Week, I have a very simple request. Let’s figure out what the hell his going on with the world’s best gadget reporter, the legendary Mr. Walt Mossberg, and send him a simple message: BRING BACK THE JOY.
We’ve reached out to Walt Mossberg for comment and will update if we receive one.