A lot of drama has transpired tonight, and for a well-deserved individual. Steve Jobs’s death feels to many like the loss of a family member or a good friend, because, for better or for worse, his creations have in truth become our own very best and intimate friends. Our laptops house all our secrets, our iPhones are always there to entertain us when our surroundings prove un-engaging and we gush at iTunes’s sensitive and innate ability to predict our tastes in music. It’s like it’s actually listening to us while the rest of our worlds seem to hide an iconic white headphone in one ear while we try to explain to them our latest heartache or headache. iTunes understands us and how a person who has the occasional need for angry white rap music on a Tuesday morning might also have a thing for Enya. Steve understood us. And he knew the one thing that would actually bring us together.
This evening I was warming up at spinning class after work, unaware of the events that had transpired 20 minutes earlier, when the token latecomer bursts through the door exclaiming the news about Job’s death. Fifteen people -men and women, young and old – simultaneously superman dove from their bikes to the security and warm embrace of their iPhones to learn about the death of their best friend. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of watching 15 people learn about the death of Steve Jobs solely through the device he created.
I tend to listen to Alanis Morissette’s song, “Hand in my Pocket” when I feel as though I’m losing my balance in life. That song has such a nonchalant yet elegant way of telling humanity to get over their egos and move on with their lives.
My girl Alanis tells us, “what it all comes down to is that everything is going to be quite alright, ’cause I have one hand in my pocket and the other one is flicking a cigarette.”
As I looked around at the room clutched to their iPhones, I couldn’t help but realize that iPhones are in so many ways the modern day cigarette. We are addicted to the comfort and familiarity of our own cyber universes in an increasingly unstable, hypersensitive and hyperactive world. In that room were 15 people from various demographics are all biking together – in unison – while simultaneously disconnected from one another – as each person, one hand on the handle bar and one hand on the iPhone, plugged into their safety zone in order to maintain a grip on life and come to terms with the one they lost.