November 3, 2005 – 12:25 am
Thanks to Spoonford, you can now download a PDF file containing my Creative Commons licensed paper:
There is no ‘We’ in ‘iPod’
You can leave a trackback using this URL: http://andrewdubber.com/2005/11/pdf-file-of-ipod-essay/trackback/
Interesting article and thanks for sharing it. You conclude that the impact of the iPod and its connections with online media is both simultaneously inclusive and exclusive.
On the face of it this is clearly true.
I think what is interesting is less whether those white earbuds act as a barrier to immediate personal social interaction, but more what is going on inside the heads of the people wearing them.
With podcasting the mp3 player is a means of extending the internet directly into our heads. In many ways audio is a far more powerful medium than the written word with its intense capacity to connect with our emotions, punching its way into our psyche and imaginations.
So you have the curious situation where someone is sitting on the number 11 bus keeping their neighbours at arms length but simultanously building a potentially powerful intellectual and emotional bond with another human being many thousands of miles away.
These bonds will filter into our immediate neighbourhood. Ideas lodged in our heads will emerge in conversations we have at work and at home. As this happens many new individuals are being drawn into a global network.
On balance I think whether those white earbuds are social or anti-social hangs most on the temperment of the wearing. But they still have a power to connect.
For the sociable iPod user they are a means of extending their network far beyond normal physical social boundaries. For the less sociable they may still have a positive effect. As you write in your piece the beauty of the net is it makes people realise they are not alone – and for most of us simply knowing that, boosts our self confidence.
So perhaps we could ultimately argue that the white earbuds represent the steady progress of making the excluded feel included?
Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail
Andrew Dubber (RSS) + Sator-ii theme by Felipe Lavín