| Staff Columnist

Last Wednesday night, there was a frenzy of activity across social networks memorializing Steve Jobs. He is, for our generation, the man who has had the greatest impact on our lives.

As college students, his products are integral to our day-to-day lives. What would we do without our iPods or iTunes? How many of your friends have an iPhone? His laptops dominate the college market. I think President Obama said it best when he said, “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.”

I wouldn’t say anything about this man’s life that hasn’t already been better said by people who are better equipped to say these things. But I can say that it felt very strange to be so moved by the passing of a guy I knew only through the piece of technology I used to write this article.

I’ve never been an Apple fiend. In fact, it would be safe to say I’ve had a fairly contentious relationship with their products. When I was 6 years old, all my friends were enjoying “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” on their fancy new Windows 95 PCs. I was stuck with one of the original PowerMacs. You know, before the tower. This was hugely frustrating. All the cool computer games were made for Windows, and I couldn’t bring my saved schoolwork home. The only way to portably save files then was through a floppy disk. And guess what? Floppy disks didn’t work for both Macs and PCs. So when that ugly Mac finally broke and my family switched to a Dell, it was a very happy day for me. I remained a devoted Windows user up until the summer before I came to college, when I finally switched to a MacBook. I’ve never looked back. I love this thing.

I also once had an iPhone. It was one of the early ones. I hated it. It broke many times. No one could hear me. I couldn’t hear anyone. It was a cool toy. But it was a crappy phone. I’ve since been a devoted BlackBerry user. And while I try to remain loyal, my phone simply doesn’t compare to the current iteration of the device I once owned.

There has been noticeable improvement in the design and functionality of Apple’s gadgets, and that is all because of Jobs. They look great, and they are easy to use. My mom switched to a Mac desktop, ironically on the day Jobs passed. She called me excitedly, telling me that she set up her own wireless printer. Mind you, this is a woman for whom I had to download email attachments, either physically or via instruction over the phone, for a good three to four years.

No one has challenged the dominance of the iPod. I have many fewer BBM contacts than I used to because everyone is switching to Apple. That was the only point of having a BlackBerry, aside from the fact that my clumsy fingers function much better on a physical keyboard.

Something Jobs created, more likely than not, has improved your life in some way. One of his gadgets is probably involved in your day more than once. His death is a monumental moment in our lives, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like all of his stuff that much. He changed the face of the planet. When you look for the next innovative piece of technology, you’re going to look for that Apple logo on it, and you’re most likely going to buy it.

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