The Steve Jobs worship is too far


The Appalachian Online

Justin Chandler

“Steve Jobs” was released in select theaters this past month with a nationwide release on Oct. 23.

Written by Aaron Sorkin of “The Social Network” fame, the biopic is based on the polarizing founder of Apple and his rise, fall and reemergence in Silicon Valley up to his release of the iMac in 1998.

This is also the fourth biographical movie made about Jobs in the past 20 years.

This is not a movie review, though with famed actors such as Michael Fassbener, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels under Sorkin’s script, I am sure that it warrants its critical praise.

However, I do have to ask: Has the idolization of Steve Jobs jumped the shark, especially with our generation?

Undoubtedly known amongst Apple enthusiasts and any computer science major, Jobs has become almost synonymous with tablets, computers, and MP3 players, and it stands to reason that any college student who has owned an iPod or iMac knows who he is.

He was the face of computers alongside his competitor Bill Gates until his passing in 2011.

Yet after his untimely demise, it appears that his legend has grown an astounding rate to the point that we have had 16 autobiographies and biographies released since 1984, 13 feature and documentary films since 1999 (nine of which were released after his death), and even a theater performance in 2012.

By any stretch, this is considered media overkill for someone who left this earth only four years ago.

Perhaps the connection between Jobs and the Millennial Generation can be further attributed to his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, where he urged graduates to “find what you love” and “stay hungry, stay foolish.”

The video of his speech on Stanford University’s YouTube page has at this time close to 23 million views, most of which could be attributed to college students who have since taken to his musings and strived for that “carpe diem” spirit.

However, invigorating speeches aside, the new biographical film being released so quickly after the 2013 version with Ashton Kutcher leads me to believe that we have become too dependent on Steve Jobs to be the proverbial face of our generation.

Just as basketball fans in the ‘90s flocked to the image of Michael Jordan, we may have flocked to Steve Jobs as a means to define who we are instead of thriving on our own individual traits and talents.

By no means is this meant to be a criticism of Jobs, but rather a way to keep things in perspective.

We do not need to treat him as a deity for us to live vicariously through, as the movie trailers may make it seem. Instead, the best course of action in regards to memorializing this man is to appreciate his contributions to the technology industry and leave it at that.

Steve Jobs was a talented, innovative computer designer and a charismatic speaker, but he was also just a man, not an idol for our generation to worship. Let us create our own legends while we “find what we love.”

Chandler, a senior Middle Grades Education major from Icard, is an opinion writer.