COLUMN: Steve Jobs formed our generation and embedded himself in it

Spencer Jenkins


This phrase along with other texts including simply the Apple symbol threaded their way through Twitter and Facebook feeds Wednesday in remembrance of Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.

You can disagree with me all day long, but I firmly believe that Jobs molded our generation into the tech-savvy college kids we stand as today.

If you performed a sonography on Jobs’ belly between the years of about 1988 and 1992, you’d probably find he was about to birth our generation eager to take on all his snazzy techno gadgets.

Jobs basically raised us by making us fall in love with Apple.

Don’t you remember the first neon-colored basic computer games you played on those perfectly square but bulky computers with a monitor smaller than an iPad’s screen? I sure do — playing on those computers highlighted my day in elementary school.

Nobody really had personal desktop computers at home, so putting those into schools was our introduction to Jobs and his genius. 

Then Jobs switched up the looks of his space machines. He wanted them looking “sexy.”

I KNOW you remember the obnoxiously colorful, translucent and rounded desktop computers that literally looked like NASA should’ve been using them.

Kids in middle school fought HARD for these computers when it came time for computer class because only a limited amount of them were allotted to the school I attended.

Ironically, these computers sucked. Despite the “sex appeal” Jobs succeeded with, these computers fell short of overall success. Not only slow, they also crashed all the time if you recall.

But as we reached the end of our middle school/grade school years and began our confusing high school years, Jobs handed us something that changed our lives forever: the iPod.

All the cool kids (I was totally one of them) owned an iPod, and boy, did they love showing them off, or what? 

Whether you were strapping it on your arm while you worked out or just walked around school or the mall with it, you wanted people to know you were listening to your music on an iPod.

Any other MP3 player just wouldn’t suffice. If you had a Zune or some other MP3 player, you may as well have still owned a Walkman or Discman because iPod reigned as king.

Whatever transition Jobs put the iPod through (Touch, Nano, Shuffle, etc), we followed each one by buying the newest and best iPod. He encouraged the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” because no one wanted to be outdone.

And it continues today. Just look around campus and note each iPhone you see. Odds are that many students own iPhones over other brands. Even the Student Government Association allows students to check out iPads.

Jobs, whether you liked him or not, is a staple of our generation. And although he might be gone we will still type on his Macs (as I am now), listen to our music through his iPods, communicate through his iPhones and get information from his iPads.

Also, who knows what else was up his sleeve before he left us? We will still see innovations from Jobs. He will be missed. 