I can’t pretend to be personally moved by Steve Jobs’ death. I can acknowledge the impact he had on modern technology and our society, and still not be all that upset that he’s no longer with us. But here’s the thing — last night, while the internet poured out its sympathy and grief over Steve Jobs, I decided that instead of being a phony I just wouldn’t say anything at all. I really wish some of you Steve Jobs/Apple bashers would do the same.
I read a lot of negative commentary yesterday regarding Jobs, and it seems to break down into a few major gripes. Allow me to address them here.
You say: Why should I care about Steve Jobs? I don’t even own an iPod.
I say: Good job on demonstrating your short-sightedness. The fact that you don’t own an iPod or any other Apple products, believe it or not, does not mean that you haven’t been affected by Jobs anyway. Take five minutes and actually read up on the impact he and the company he founded have had on the world before you make yourself look even more stupid.
You say: But what about those Chinese factory workers who committed suicide? Sweatshops, maaaaaan!
I say: Ah yes, another internet human rights champion. Right on cue, here they come to school us all on the fact that — gasp! — working conditions in China aren’t all that great. Thanks for the lesson numbnuts, you’ve really opened my eyes. So tell me, what have you done to right this horrible wrong? Because I missed the news reports about all the protests you led or all the work you’ve done to raise awareness of this injustice.
Please. Other than capitalizing on Jobs’ death as a chance to draw some attention to yourself, you haven’t done shit to help those poor Chinese workers you now claim to care so much about.
You say: Sure I do! I boycott Apple products! Nyaaah!
I say: Stop. You boycott Apple products because you hate their commercials and don’t want people to think of you as an Apple fanboy or as a slave to trends, not because you’re trying to teach Apple a lesson on corporate responsibility. I get that you hate Apple’s douchey marketing campaigns. I hate them too. But don’t pretend like your desperate need to cultivate an image as some kind of iconoclast is anything more than a different flavor of pretentiousness than slavish devotion.
The bottom line: Look, I’m not telling you what to think. If you really don’t care about Steve Jobs or Apple, fine. But maybe, just maybe, you should consider not acting like a jackass for a few days by trying to impress everyone over what a radical free thinker you are. I’m sorry if reading paeans to Jobs’ life and legacy makes you feel insignificant, but you’re not going to change that situation or anyone’s mind about him simply by flinging your mental boogers all over the internet.