1. He changed the way they learn. The home computer began the process that would someday become the internet which offers them the ability to study without ever leaving their kitchen counter or bedroom desk. They will never again have to spend countless hours in a library combing through pages of text or buy Cliff Notes. They just type a question into the internet and voila. How many hours a day did he give back to their lives? Hours that perhaps they might spend dreaming about how they, like him, might change the world.
2. Steve Jobs gave them the ability to never lose track of their family and friends via Facebook. Yes, I know he didn’t create it. The Winklevoss twins did. Just kidding. Zuckerburg did. Well, who knows. Regardless of the true creator of Facebook, without Jobs, and the creation of the home computer, there would be no argument between the two parties that led to the movie The Social Network and there would be no knowing your third cousin twice removed or a friend with similar dreams in Australia.
3. He gave them apps. Hours of entertainment and learning at the drop of our password. Recently Colt said to me, “Mom, what were your favorite apps when you were a kid?” A week ago that was just a funny sound bite. Today I realize how truly profound that question is.
4. I asked both of my teens tonight, “What was the most impactful product Steve Jobs provided you?” They both responded quickly with, “portable music.” But, of course. Is there a tween or teen alive whose life isn’t dripping with the portable music that creates the fabric of their very being? In all that they do, they have background music. They have not one theme song as Allie McBeal did, but an entire playlist to draw upon for their every mood.
5. They will never know the pain of a typewriter or the disaster that was Wite-Out. Not as profound, I know, but a true gift.
6. An apple a day used to be the way to Eddie Haskell your teacher. Now an apple inspires thoughts of technology, freedom, creativity and an endless possibility of dreams that will shape their lives and their destinies.
7. They will be able to view their childhood via our photos, videos and the books of their every sweet moment created on Apple products. A virtual time capsule. We bloggers have created years of memories for them with each story we have painstakingly written on our computers. Though some might argue we over share, I would protest and say we have created the memories that one day will help them know where their dreams began.
8. With the creation of the iPad he might have just saved our children’s backs. Laugh at this one if you will, but it is a great contribution. Have you picked up the backpack of your tween or teen? They weigh at least 40 pounds. Look around in carpool at the girls leaning forward over their shoes to counter balance the weight. Someday, in the not so very distant future, every child will have an iPad. The weight lifted off of their backs and the world at their fingertips
9. Pixar, as is eloquently pointed out by Jason Avant. Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up, Monsters Inc. Movies that our children will be showing their children as they remember a time when they were snuggled in with us on the sofa. The memories of pressing their faces into our shoulders for comfort from the scary or laughing with us at the funny moments that brought much needed relief for their pounding hearts, creating a bond never broken.
10. And finally, he provided them with this video, his commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005. I end with his words, “Believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.” One more that you might share with your children as they walk the path of life not knowing where it may someday lead them, “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice and most important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
His life provided so much happiness and inspiration to all of us. I am saddened only by one thought, What else might he have done.
If you have written a post in honor of Steve Jobs life, please link to it below in the comment section.