Do you own an iPod? I know that I do and so do the majority of my friends and family members. We love the fact that you can personalize everything on your iPod, from your background to the style of your protective cover. Also, iTunes provides a quick and easy way to buying and downloading your favorite songs instantly. The musical world is now at your fingertips that is an amazing thing to be able to say. With all of these features and more what is not to love?
An online article by Andrew Sullivan revealed an opinion that there are plenty of reasons why you should not love the iPod. Sullivan describes people with iPods as “little white box worshippers” and compares the Apple Stores to churches (Sullivan 4). He goes on to explain that the iPod has caused people to retreat out of society and fall into a world where everything is just how you like it. This new world consists only of the opinions we want to hear, music we like, or information we want to know. Furthermore, living in this new world has caused a narrowing in the lives of Americans (Sullivan 5). He feels that technology is the cause of this recoil from society. Though Sullivan does present some reputable points in his article, he also claims that there is no longer people participating in society and that the invention of the iPod has caused that.
Sullivan is correct in idea that the iPod has changed the United States and the rest of the world. As of January 2011 there have been approximately 304 million iPods sold worldwide (Costello 2). This bit of technology is ubiquitous. It is very true that you can be walking down the street and spot multiple people with headphones on or have someone bump into you because they could not hear you coming over their Beatles album. In eight years iTunes went from a pipe dream to the largest music retailer in the world (Costello 4). Those facts are proof that the iPod has been an influential technology in the lives of a considerable amount of people. While all this is true, it is a little bit ridiculous to lay the blanket statement that the iPod is the cause for this phenomena. I frequently bump into people when not listening to music. Also I go off into my own world thinking about school and work and do not hear the people talking to me. I think these are common activities among a lot of people and it does not signify our withdrawal from society.
Speaking of technology, is there not multiple forms of it? Sullivan’s article pinpoints the iPod’s role in the narrowing of lives but only briefly entertains the idea that other forms of technology could be to blame. Recent studies have shown that the average human being spends 4 hours a day watching television (Herr1). The average youth spends more time per year watching television than being in school (Herr 3). This form of technology shares a large role in pulling people out of society and into an isolated world. Ten years ago it was not completely necessary for people to get on the Internet...