The Steve Jobs Generation

There are times in life when we wish we could just hit Apple+Z and go back to the way things were moments beforehand. Wednesday night we felt that urge. The news of Steve Jobs’s passing spread almost instantaneously across campus, from iPhone to iPhone and in hushed whispers among those working on their Macbooks in the library. The unified, doleful reaction the news generated marked the death of a luminary who has shaped our generation.

He was the man who took the smartphone and shifted it from a clunky businessman’s tool into an integral part of nearly every student’s life. He was the man who facilitated our afternoons spent playing “Angry Birds” or “Fruit Ninja.” He was the man who turned the library into, as some jocular students like to call it, an orchard. He was the man who enabled us to have songs available at our fingertips while walking between classes.

According to a study by the Kaiser Family Institute, average American teenagers spend more than seven and a half hours per day on electronic devices. For many Phillipians, that means Jobs’s influence is present in nearly every waking moment outside of class time.

Apple, under Jobs’s guidance, took electronics and made them into something that attracts us. The suave, streamlined designs, the elegant logo and the deceiving simplicity all draw us to its products. While creating a coveted product is noteworthy, Apple achieved an even rarer feat in combining desirability with functionality and substance.

Andover students are keenly aware of Apple’s uniqueness, allure and quality. We tend to closely follow Apple announcements—the recent iPhone announcement had been Commons conversation fodder for weeks—and business fortunes. You would be hard pressed to find another CEO of a major corporation whom a majority of the student body could even identify, much less list that CEO’s accomplishments.

It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to call our generation the Steve Jobs Generation. Many forget that between his stints with Apple, Steve Jobs ran Pixar Animation Studio, which produced movies such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles.” We were reared on Pixar movies and grew up alongside the iPod, iPhone and Macbook. For a man so perceptive and so meaningful to all of our lives, Andover students’ greatest tribute would be to live by his words:

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” –Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXIV.