The lasting influence of Steve Jobs on the ‘techie’ generation

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By Samantha Tyler

There is no denying the immeasurable impact Steve Jobs has had on the world we live in. Our generation’s concept of human connection has been completely transformed by his creations.

Jobs’ inventions consume our technologically centered world. iPhones have become a staple in many students’ daily lives, especially after this past Friday’s release of the iPhone 4S. You cannot walk into Schaffer library without seeing a Macbook. At the beginning of each term, buying textbooks for some means downloading them on their iPads. When going to the gym, remembering to grab your iPod has become as vital as remembering a water bottle.

In response to Steve Job’s death, President Barack Obama said, “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

The President’s words reveal more than just the proof of Job’s impact on our world. Technology, of Job’s creation has affected every aspect of our communication. The existence of iPhones, Macbooks, and iPads has replaced the necessity for people to turn on their televisions or open a newspaper in order to know the news.

An even more unbelievable feat of today’s technology is that we no longer need to be in the same room, let alone the same country, to talk to someone “face-to-face.”

As wonderfully convenient as technology has made communication, it is debatable whether these advances have improved our lives or placed our generation’s verbal communication at a disadvantage.

At a liberal arts school like Union, it is no wonder that stress has been put on ensuring our ability to communicate properly, both verbally and in writing.

That WAC class may seem like yet another required gen-ed that gets in the way of completing your major, but with our diminishing communication skills, writing abilities and spelling, classes like the newly offered The Power of Words are becoming increasingly necessary.

The class, taught by Professor Pease, will supply students with the skills to correctly and effectively express themselves. The ability to do so gives people an advantage in the workforce and in daily interactions.

How many times have you gotten a text message that made absolutely no sense to you or completely misread the tone of an email? The auto correction in iPhones is sometimes to blame, but in reality most of these confusions result from the lack of effort that we need to put forth in orderto communicate with one another.

How many people do you see around campus or in the dining halls with headphones in? Not only is it particularly difficult to get those people’s attention, but sitting at a meal with someone listening to music can just be awkward.

After sitting through the first hour of your TuesdayThursday class, as soon as the relief of your six-minute break comes, what is the first thing you do? Are the text messages and Facebook notifications waiting for you on your mobile device more valuable than getting to know your classmates?

Our generation has access to every person we know and every bit of knowledge on the Internet. The advantages we have over past generations are innumerable, but the very technological advances that have given us more ways to stay in contact with people have negatively impacted our ability to socially interact with people whose numbers aren’t in our phones.

When did it become more acceptable to pretend to answer a text rather than smiling at the person walking toward you, even when you aren’t sure he or she will smile back?

We’re all guilty of walking with our eyes glued to our phones minstead of the world around us. It may seem like we have the world at our fingertips, especially with the new speed of the iPhone 4S, but there are so many things going on around us that we miss because of our dependence on technology.

In light of Steve Job’s  recent passing we must consider his technological impact on the world. Indeed, it is inarguable that his work has brought convenient communication to us all;  however, what price does our generation pay for the ability to stay connected to the world through the touch of a button?

 

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