Steve Jobs Never Wanted Us to Use Our iPhones Like This

from NYTs

Smartphones are our constant companions. For many of us, their glowing screens are a ubiquitous presence, drawing us in with endless diversions, like the warm ping of social approval delivered in the forms of likes and retweets, and the algorithmically amplified outrage of the latest “breaking” news or controversy. They’re in our hands, as soon as we wake, and command our attention until the final moments before we fall asleep.

Steve Jobs would not approve.

In 2007, Mr. Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco and introduced the world to the iPhone. If you watch the full speech, you’ll be surprised by how he imagined our relationship with this iconic invention, because this vision is so different from the way most of us use these devices now.

More here.


54 Responses to Steve Jobs Never Wanted Us to Use Our iPhones Like This

  1. Kevin Metz May 3, 2019 at 7:39 pm #

    For most of us, our iPhones are glued to our hands. It’s a daily cycle of replying to text messages, scrolling through social media, and surfing the internet. This article talks about how Steve Jobs would not approve of the way people most commonly use their iPhones today. Prior to his passing, Steve Jobs made various accounts explaining his hopes for his growing company. All Jobs wanted to do was simply make day to day lives easier when it came to placing phone calls, listening to music, and getting directions. However, this is certainly not where the iPhone stands today. Having access to such technology right at our fingertips can be thought of as both a blessing and a curse. Certainly, there are still some old-timers who truly only know how to make calls and reply to texts, but for the younger generations, the iPhone has taken over lives. iPhones can do more now than ever before. Whether this is viewed positively is up for interpretation. Personally, I don’t consider myself to be one of those people who are addicted to their iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having such quick access to technology, but I think I could live without it unlike most. Technology has affected people’s ability to hold a face-to-face conversation since most of their time spent communicating with others is through a phone screen. When out to eat at a restaurant, take note of how many people’s phone is kept out on the table. I think there’s much more to life than being up to date with the latest Instagram or Facebook posts.

  2. Madison Becker June 13, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    As a member of the “Gen Z” or “Millennial” generation, it is common to hear that cellphones and technology are taking over our lives. I do not disagree, but some would argue that it was not the original intention of smartphones, and not a positive change. In this article, it claims that Steve Jobs’s original description of his smartphone does not match the current atmosphere. iPhones do a lot more than what Jobs started with. In his full speech from 2007, he boasted about the new advanced technology of being able to touch the smartphone to open it with one swipe of your finger. That technology has advanced to being able to unlock your iPhone without even touching it, you can also make payments and log into a majority of your accounts and websites, simply by looking at your phone. While we recognized that this was not where technology was going to stop, Jobs’s original intention was not to enable making a career out of social media or for it to be used as a tool for parents to keep their kids occupied.
    According to the article, “Mr. Jobs seemed to understand the iPhone as something that would help us with a small number of activities such as listening to music, placing calls, generating directions. He didn’t seek to radically change the rhythm of users’ daily lives. He simply wanted to take experiences we already found important and make them better.” This obviously does not match the current situation with the iPhone. A study showed that the average person checks their cell phone every 12 minutes, and I doubt that when they reach for their phones that they are checking something to “help with a small number of activities.” We completely rely on our cell phones now, it is the last thing we see at night and the first thing we check in the morning. There have been videos on the internet titled “24 Hours Without a Phone” and “A Week Without a Phone,” which are intended to be entertaining “challenge videos,” as people really do find it to be a challenge. We have adapted our entire lives to be on our phones, all of our photo memories, banking, social media, communication, and the original intention of the smartphone, according to Steve Jobs, has been lost. I doubt Jobs imagined the technology that would be available in such a short period of time and did not imagine the change in society that would happen with all of the information at our fingertips.

    Swns. “Americans Check Their Phones 80 Times a Day: Study.” New York Post, New York Post, 8 Nov. 2017,

  3. Arman Ameri September 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm #

    Steve Jobs was a good CEO; however, he was not psychic, just because he had a vision of how the iPhone should be used does not mean that his vision will come true. Of course, between 2007 and now the iPhone has evolved and changed the way we live our lives, that’s what revolutionary inventions do. Take the light bulb for example, there is no doubt that Edison thought it would change the world, but he probably, could not even imagine the world we live in today. The light bulb lead to energy breakthroughs such as power plants, electric transmission lines, household appliances, etc.
    This article talks about how Steve Jobs would not like how the iPhone is being used today, however that is something that even if he were still alive would have no control over. People will use things however they would like to use them. Drugs have medical uses, but people misuse them on a daily basis, that’s nobody’s fault, it’s just human nature. In addition, in my opinion, I don’t think Steve Jobs would be saddened at all by how the iPhone is being used, information is one of the rarest commodities and the iPhone brings all the information you want into your hands in a matter of seconds. It connects the world to you and you to the world, which I believe is something to be valued and not frowned upon.

  4. Alen Del Valle September 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

    Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, did not want the IPhone to become what it is today. A majority of people in this generation have this smartphone and are addicted to them. They are always glued to their phone and start to disconnect from the world. If you walk outside and look at everyone, a majority of people are always looking down at their phone and do not even look at where they are walking. Steve Jobs did not intend to have these devices being used as they are now. He wanted the phone to be used as a simple device and did not expect these online applications to take over the use of this phone. When he presented the first device, he did not include the app store that is used very often in this generation. Jobs wanted this device to use simple functions such as phone calls, listening to music, and to give directions. A big apps that have taken over these IPhones is usually the social media apps. Apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are being used by these younger IPhone users.
    In the article, it said, “If you return this innovation to its original limited role, you’ll get more out of both your phone and your life,” and I agree with that statement. There are so many things people miss while looking at their phone and that can be for unfortunate because there are a lot of beautiful things in the outside world. A scary thing about these phones becoming addictive is that younger generations can be born into this technology and could build addictive personalities. If younger people started getting addicted to these devices, it could be a bad sign for America. A majority of individuals seem to base their whole life around their phone. It seems like some people can not go at least thirty minutes without looking at their phone. They always have to either respond to their friend’s text message or check their social media feeds. In today’s society, our phones to take over our lives and sometimes most adults need them in order to get their work done for their job. If it was not possible for people to get emails on their phones, adults would not need them to do their work and would have to wait to do their work until they got home or until their next work day.

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