Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Social Impact of the iPod

I've spent a lot of time in airplanes and airports lately. In all of those cases, I've had my headphones on, listening to my tunes. I love it. My smartphone has a 1 gig card that I've filled with a lot of my current favorites.

I look around and I see lots of others with their "ears on". A lot of them can carry upward of 40 gig on their pods.


It's pretty amazing.

I'm not sure that it's all good, though. I've noticed that when I'm tuned in to my pod, I'm tuned out to the people around me. I can't hear them, I don't look at them, and heaven forbid I should actually talk to someone or interact.

More than just letting me tune out, having phones in my ears actually sends an unspoken message to others: "I want to be alone. Don't come close!"

Now, on the one hand, one could argue that we already don't interact with each other, and so what's the big diff? None, really, I guess. I suppose the pods simply make it easier for us.

Funny,eh? Tech makes it easy for us to reach out to people (email, IM, blogs, etc...), at the same time that it also isolates us.

Mark Hansen

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