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Monday, April 26, 2010

The IPod Generation

Side profile of a young woman sitting on a ledge and listening to an MP3 player
Everywhere you go, people are wearing IPods.  Running.  Walking.  Biking.  In elevators and grocery stores.  On airplanes and on subways.  The IPod Generation is here to stay.

I tried wearing my IPod a few times in the grocery store.  I’m not saying I’ll never do it again, but overall I can’t say I enjoyed the experience.  I was even more distracted than usual.  I forgot more than a couple of things on my list.  It took me longer to get my shopping done.  I was less considerate of other shoppers.  Yes, I even think I was more annoying than usual (even though I didn’t have the kids tagging along).

So why is everyone around me (especially those who are 10 years younger than I) wearing their IPods 24-7?  Is life really more exciting with a permanent headset?

I have a few theories about this IPod Generation. 

They like noise.  They’re used to it.  And they feel incomplete – even lonely – without it. I can’t count the number of times that I enter a room and turn off the TV because no one is watching it.  In fact, no one even realizes that it’s on – let alone that they’re watching some trashy program that any decent mother would object to.  It’s a culture of constant video and audio stimulation -- a culture that thrives on background noise.

Call me old-fashioned, but what ever happened to peace and quiet?  I actually like to talk to my family without distraction. I like to greet the people in the grocery store.  And I like to be able to hear myself think.

Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t have anything against the people around me who walk around with IPods.  They’re certainly not as annoying as some of the folks in my generation who talk at the top of their lungs in public with a cell phone strapped to their heads.  At least the IPod-wearers are quiet and relatively polite.

But doesn’t it make you wonder, how do you hear yourself think when it’s always noisy?


Graceful said...

Sometimes I take my ipod on a run and actually turn it off, prefering the silence and the uninterrupted time to think.

And I hardly ever watch TV when I have the house to myself (a rarity) -- I much prefer the quiet!

Susan DiMickele said...

I have started running in quiet. I actually prefer it (so long as I;m outside)!