I had a work happy hour last night, but I saw the news pretty much as soon as I got home. Unlike many people my age, I am not an Apple apostle. Oh, sure, I have an iPhone and I do like it quite a lot, but I use a PC both at work and at home and feel pretty content with that choice. I’m ambitech, I guess you could say – I see the good and the bad on both sides of the Mac/PC debate.
So I really didn’t think I’d stew too much on the passing of Steve Jobs. After all, I didn’t know the man personally, and I don’t care to worship at the Apple altar. I don’t even own any Apple stock or anything like that. I am a very empathetic person, and I always have the thought, “Man, that’s too bad. I’m sorry his/her family lost someone they loved,” whenever a famous person dies, and then I don’t think much about him/her again. I didn’t think it would be any different with Steve Jobs.
And yet. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. Sure, part of that’s because the Apple-heads won’t shut up about it already, so Apple/Jobs tributes are clogging my Facebook and Twitter feeds. But that’s not the whole reason. It’s also because he was so young and because 56 is uncomfortably close to Dave’s and my parents’ ages. And it’s because in a world where you increasingly seem to need to be a total jackass to be famous, Jobs seemed like a genuinely nice guy who loved his wife and cared about people and lived with passion. I also think that Jobs actually deserves to be called a visionary, and it’s painful for us as a society when we lose someone who has contributed so much. It’s rare for a person to have the talent and brains necessary to marry function and form, technology and design, user experience and aesthetic appeal, not to mention also having incredible business acumen.
So I’m sad, too, sadder than I expected to be. All I can hope is that the Jobs family can find a small amount solace in how many lives were touched by the man they lost, by how many complete strangers all over the world grieve with them.