iSad and public mourning

October 13, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead. Something that was impossible to miss these last weeks. This post is not really about how great visionary the man was but more about the after effects his death had on society.

According to research shown in the recently aired BBC documentary “Secrets of Superbrands” Apple triggers the same feelings and reactions in people as religion. I think this was an interesting point of view but it didn’t really convince me. This was till Mr. Jobs died. The death of Jobs confirmed for me that Apple is not just a brand. It is on the verge of a religion with many devotees.



I found it interesting how people were publicly mourning all over the world because of the death of Steve Jobs. In public and online. Hundreds of thousands of messages were posted on social networks. People were mourning before Apple Cathedrals (Apple Stores if you like). All expressing their condolences, remembering Jobs and recite about what the person Jobs and his legacy meant to them. At once it looked like everyone liked Jobs. An image was created that he was now of the same stature as the Dalai Lama and the Pope. Jobs came to represent something about the real possibility of change within a lifetime, to achieve something. With death comes idealization: so all he great things he did, what he said, were all turned into something magnificent. Resulting in an en masse public mourning reminiscent of the death of a religious leader.



Interesting aspects from the mourning that has been public and online is the factor technology. Of course this combination from the gadgets with the mourning is clear, 1 + 1 = 2. Apple is a technological brand/religion after all.  What surprised me was the symbolic use of the gadgets. The Apple website which turned into an already iconic site. Putting an digital candle on your iPhone and kneel and pray for Jobs. Turning off the Apple logo in an Apple store to pay respect for the death of Jobs. Having an “iPhone vigil” with a dozen of people in a park, even some with an iphone with a picture of Jobs on it.



A totally different aspect that surprised me have been the multiple cartoons I’ve seen the last few days in the media. They often say laughter is the best medicine their is. I think all these cartoons put the death of Jobs in the perspective again. They lift people’s spirits, let them think of the good man and people can continue their ways.

If someone questions themselves if I’m an Apple hater. The answer is no.  90% of my technological equipment is Apple. For me it is no more than a tool to work, to connect and to have fun with. Could I do it with some other brand? Yes, no problem. So there you go, i do not consider myself a devotee just someone who thought she saw some interesting stuff happening.

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