Yesterday, one of the pioneers for today’s gadget technologies have passed away. Personally, I have barely any idea about who Steve Jobs was, other than he’s a big shot over at Apple. But seeing how many Facebook shares, tweets, blog posts and even news articles and video clips about him gave me the notion that he might be a little bit more than just a big shot in Apple.
I have seen some posts and skimmed some blogs that likened the man to Rizal, or Thomas Edison, or even Da Vinci. I may be shortsighted, but they might be right. He did bring about the era of personal computers, as well as making technology a right arm of humanity. And now, he passed away, people are still talking about what he had done and are singing accolades for him. It has been, hmm, about a day and a half, or thereabouts since he left this plane of existence. I believe that his family and friends are touched that the world paused for a while to give respect as their father, husband friend exited stage left. Yet, on that same page, there are more things in this world that we forget.
As I was wading through my Facebook wall, I saw this picture:
It is a harsh reality check for all of us. I am not excluding myself from this as I admit, I barely get off my highly endowed bum to get off the internet and even do anything other than take my daughter to school, get her home again, feed my daughters, et cetera. What I am saying is, for all the technology that this man, Steve Jobs, had created for us, what really are we doing with it? Aside from cyber stalking, gaming, filling the internet with great loads of rubbish and hoaxes; working and slaving at least 10 hours a day in front of your workstation to earn money for the family; rotting our brains with endless lists of status updates, video and picture shares and gaming — what are we really doing with these technology?
I do not want to be a hypocrite, but I am aware that I may as well be one. But I think that we could maybe honor Steve Jobs’ life by using the gadgets that he gave us in some things more worthwhile than just ourselves. If maybe, we could use all these technologies, not just Steve Jobs’, but even those of Bill Gates‘, and Mark Zuckerberg‘s, Linus Torvalds‘, Jack Dorsey‘s, Larry Page‘s, Sergey Brin‘s — and all the other everyday technologies that we use — to reach out, even once, and help out a fellow-man. It could be as simple as sharing a photo of someone destitute and sharing it to everyone with the intention to rally help for that someone in one form or another. Or even advocating for some awareness, like cancer, or even environmentalism, like we are all doing with Facebook and Twitter. Maybe if we do more of that, and less of spreading hoaxes, gossiping, slandering and libeling, we might be able to really use the gadgets left in our hands to really good use.
I have heard of the argument that it is a pity that science and technology has been used to spread evil in the world, as in the case of the Holocaust and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But science and technology alone are not capable of that. Science and technology are amoral inanimate things. It is the human race who decides whether they should be used for good, evil, or apathy. I hope that as we go on to a future where everyone of us are practically linked to our computers, and phones and other peripherals, that we might still keep our basic humanity; that we will still be human enough to look out for the welfare not just of our own family and clan, but also those of our neighbors and that stranger down the next corner. I hope that the legacy Steve Jobs and those other “brainy guys” would leave with us is connectivity, not just with other humans, but connectivity with our own humanity.
As we say goodbye to one of the pioneers of our future, let us use our inheritance — these iPhones, iPods, iMacs, iPads, — to further the cause of those of our brothers who do not even know what it means to be well-fed, healthy and priviledged.
Steve, thanks for everything. We’ll make sure St Peter gets his own app.