The Cultural Impact Of Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

There is hardly a person alive who hasn’t owned an iPod or used a Macintosh computer. Even your grandma has walked past a Mac Store or seen a movie with some celebrity doing important research, intently staring at a screen that slyly depicted some adorable colored fruit icon.

You’d see U2 and other prominent musicians famously dancing through an iTunes commercial.

That upside down glowing white logo, shown on several season of Sex And The City, was Carrie Bradshaw’s sole means of writing her famous sex and advice column.

The villainous characters on early season of Fox’s hit show 24 would use Windows computers, while the “good guys” used Macs. Attractive women in nearly every horror movie I can imagine put in iPod earbuds and start running down the street right before a big kill scene…

Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde proudly whips out an orange Mac iBook during a day at Harvard. Famous fictional serial killer Dexter uses a Mac to do his special murderous research.

The not-so-stable control center in Jurassic Park used the Apple Quadra 700 as their prime operating system. We are even bombarded with images of celebrities on reality shows using Macbook Pros – Paris Hilton, The Kardashians, Ochocinco.

None of this is a coincidence, the Apple team, helmed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (who started the company in a garage in 1976) and also Tim Cook, who joined in 1998, worked hard  to promote their products in a way that young people would recognize and react to.

Even though Apple computers have less than 10 percent of the American computer market, we are never short of seeing one somewhere in our busy or not so busy days.

iPads, iPods, iMacs, Apple TV, PowerBooks, iPhones, it’s all related to Steve Jobs – a marketing genius who brought not only technology to a new level, but the commercial aspect of it to a new level as well.

People from the ages of 15 to 40 hang onto every conference and press announcement these people make, no matter how many new devices or versions of the iPod Touch or iPhone they pump out. That’s the thing though, Windows may overwhelm Macs in numbers, but Mac products are good-looking.
They’re overpriced and imperfect but god knows they represent key aspects of human nature, especially in today’s world – greed, addiction, and a natural attraction to symmetry and sleekness. (Also the desire to not have a virus crash your computer within a year of buying it)

The passing of Steve Jobs is a heavy one, though the company will hardly stifle without him in terms of production or numbers. We are all emotionally hindered by his loss yesterday.

Jobs passed away at the age of 56 after years of health complications. He faced pancreatic cancer in 2003,  a neuroendocrine tumor was removed from his pancreas in 2004 and he had a liver transplant in 2009. It was a rare type of cancer, one he battled for many years, though the nature of it was kept under wraps.

After many leaves of absence, he resigned just this August, on the 24th, passing the CEO position on to Tim Cook. Many people realized it was a sign that the mogul was perhaps worse off than we had known.

Yesterday was that moment that no one wanted to face. Many celebrities and people in the industry fittingly took to their computers and phones to remember Jobs. Facebook and Twitter were flooded with remembrances, odes and quotes dedicated to the man.

I personally have never owned a PC, and I never will. It’s snobby maybe, but I call it loyalty. I grew up with the things – gritting my teeth through not being able to download certain programs. I saw them at their worst, when Apple nearly went bankrupt, and I saw them mature to what they are today.

It was Mactella instead of Gnutella, I played Brickles instead of Breakout in the early 90’s. I wrote poems on a Mac the size of a chair in high school. I’m not just some rich person who dug into my pockets a few years ago and got a Mac as a status symbol. I love the damn things.

Therefore, I thank Steve Jobs for the devices and the nostalgia, I respect him and his legacy as a business man and from what I can tell, a very decent human being who inspired many people…

Like Mark Zuckerberg who called him a “friend and a mentor,and President Obama who said, “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.”

 [Rest yourself, in peace, Mr. Jobs. I see floating winged toasters in your future]

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