Thursday, October 6, 2011

From Recipe Gathering To How We Make Shopping Lists, Steve Jobs Changed Everything


I don’t think it’s a strange for a food blogger to be reflecting on Steve Jobs’
accomplishments. Is there anyone on the planet who hasn’t been affected by his gargantuan achievements? I know there are plenty of people who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to hold an Apple device in their hands, but they’ve certainly been touched by a world that’s been Apple-tized.

I can’t help but feel, though, that my 20-something kids will never really understand what Steve Jobs gave to the world, because they don’t remember a world without him and his inventions.

I guess it's the way that people who grew up in the 50's thought of Henry Ford. They had never known a total horse and buggy world. Could they possibly understand the impact that motorized travel had and continues to have to this day? My kids were born before personal computers, but, by their high school years, they were firmly entrenched in a wired and, then, wireless world.

How can anyone under 30 understand the profound change that computers and all the subsequent smart phones and tablets have made on human history? The world is a much smaller place now. Just within normal family life, being able to stay in touch has changed things for better…and worse.

When I studied overseas in college, I wrote a few letters a month to my family and talked to them on the phone maybe twice. These days, I don’t like to go an HOUR without reaching out to my kids. And thanks to Steve Jobs and his computer cronies, there are multiple ways to do that. (I said I don't LIKE to, that doesn't mean I actually do…not that I’m not tempted.)

Don’t those of us over 30 and 40 and, definitely 50 and 60, understand, so much more, what his mark on the world meant because we lived half our lives without his devices? It used to take me more time to TYPE a paper than it took to actually write it.

But maybe I have it all wrong. Those kids weeping on YouTube are feeling the loss of Steve Jobs just as much as I am. In fact, maybe they’ll miss him even more just BECAUSE they've never had a world without computers. They’ve never lived without an ingenious new invention from Steve Jobs every couple of years.

I find it fascinating to read that he never used focus groups. Somehow he knew what we wanted, before WE could even think of it, whether it involved music, or retail environments or carry-along internet access. That’s what the kids…and all of us will miss.

I heard it said last night that within every computer are bits and pieces of Steve Jobs' genius. But that’s not the only place. His genius also resides in how we do so many things now on the way to accomplishing our own goals. In so many ways, his achievements have made ours possible, and, at any age, we all have reason to thank him.

I’m not sure why, but I really wanted to read about his life, not on one of his devices, but in a newspaper - the very thing that he will have had a hand in making obsolete (in its current form). I know that’s not how my kids will read about him. But I’ll remember Steve Jobs as a bridge to the future. The paper that I hold in my hand is changing day to day as a result of his innovations. Sometimes, though, the old ways make you fully appreciate the new. 


astheroshe said...

I agree. I never met the man or was a big follower. However, u can not ignore the brilliance of him . His death strikes me very hard because my mother also died of pancreatic cancer.Seems to be the kind of cancer that takes people very young. It's just so damn unfair.

Sue said...

Oh Astheroshe,
I'm so sorry. You must relive that loss every time your hear about someone else with the disease.

It is amazing to think how young Steve Jobs was. I know it's all relative, but who knows what else he could have invented with more time.