iPod Generation – The Isolated Generation

Was reading this David Pogue article in the New York Times. This one point stood out for me and I’ve been thinking about it every now and then. This is what David wrote:

“In the iPod era, people isolated themselves in public more than ever — but at least the signature white earbuds let onlookers know what they were dealing with.”

This is an amazing and often scary observation of the state of the iPod generation which is multiplying in population by the day as more and more smaller and more compact mp3 players hit the market.

It’s scary to me because I personally have noticed the alienated souls with the white earbuds roaming around in their own worlds (in their minds!!) in crowded New York City subway trains and the ubiquitous shopping malls in Singapore. Are we really withdrawing ourselves from people and conversations to a world were we just shut our eyes and immerse ouselves in Eminem or Dire Straits or whoever we wish to fill our senses with. Or is it another form of escapism from the realities of everyday commute and travel.

I remember Rob Campbell (the brilliantly outspoken regional planning head at Y&R Singapore) telling me two months back in Singapore that most music listeners close their eyes when they listen to their most favorite track. A brilliant insight that Apple capitalized in their famously colorful silhoutte ads. But then again I wonder are those folks walking around with their iPods or iRivers really shutting their eyes from the everyday mundaneness of their lives.

Definitely something to ponder on for later…


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