Apple, Snow White and Prince Charming
The whole world is mourning for the untimely death of Steve Jobs, but I can't help recalling how his creations have changed my life.
I had a Mini iPod in silver colour in the early 2000s. It was a piece of gadget that I was the most proud of. With 4 GB, I had all my favourite songs in it. I carried this ultra light portable music player with me wherever I went, listening to my favourite pieces of music on the road. I bid farewell to my discman and my MD player, which could be too heavy or too big to carry around sometimes. Life on the road was never lonely since then.
Then in 2006, I acquired a 13" white MacBook. I was using an Asus laptop at the time. It was a white PC laptop, chic, and most importantly, it resembled a MacBook. I bought the Asus computer with my brother and a friend of his at Causeway Bay's Windsor House in around 2004 because I needed one. I was struggling if I should get a Mac because I wanted a white computer that looked different from everything else. There weren't that many white laptops around at the time, and the only two options I had was a MacBook and an Asus. My brother convinced me to buy the Asus one because "You will not have any personal computer servicing if you get a Mac," said my IT expert brother who was knowledgeable about PCs. But then, it turned out that I didn't really need much IT assistance from my brother, because the computer didn't last. And two years later, I bought a white MacBook - I decided to follow my heart. I was never happier.
But the revolution didn't take place until a year later when I laid my hands on the first iPhone. A friend helped me get one from the States and jailed-break it for me. So, like any other fashionistas at the time, I owned an iPhone - an ultra chic smartphone that does everything - it's my phone, my iPod, my diary, my mini portable computer with internet access, my book reader, my entertainment, my notepad, my alarm clock, my...everything.
Immediately I discarded the Moleskine notebook and an organiser I used to carry around with me. Sometimes I didn't even carry a pen, because I took notes with my iPhone. I left my iPod in my drawer, because I listened music on my phone. I only carried a book with me when I travelled. And all of a sudden, my bag became much lighter, and I never felt lonely.
Later on I bought an Airport Express, an internet router that wirelessly connects my computer with the internet and iTunes, and through the Airport Express I could play music through speakers wirelessly. I did not need a CD player any more. And I always had my iTunes playing whenever I was home alone. I also added a MacBook Air, which was much lighter to carry around, and an iPhone 4, which runs much faster and helps me stay connected online 24/7.
With a life saturated with Apple, I realised that the word loneliness has been dropped out from my very own dictionary. Instead, there is solitude - I like enjoy getting hooked on my gadget when I'm on my own. I'm always entertained. I'm hooked. Whether I have any company in real life doesn't matter so much any more.
Jobs' fabulous Apple gadgets have made it so much easier for me to live alone, but at the same time, they have made me withdraw myself from the real world. Staying connected online doesn't mean that I'm staying in touch with the real people whom I really know. So in other words, was the Apple a fresh and juicy one that was supposed to make us healthy, or was it like the one that poisoned Snow White?
Perhaps with Jobs' departure, it is time to re-boot and re-think of ways to deal with solitude in an analog way. But can I?
Maybe I need a Prince Charming to rescue me from the poisonous fruit.