Tuesday, February 21, 2006

iPod Nation

Before I got an iPod, I had a specific opinion about people who wore headphones around the streets of NY. I had decided they were mainly single men who were not comfortable being by themselves during the day and therefore chose to plug into their discman, or walkman if they were old school, to tune in and drop out, as it were. Then the iPod was released and gained its cult following and I was even more opposed to the trend. It seemed it went from single men to just about everyone - man, woman, child - sporting the tell-tale white ear buds. "Can no one deal with their own reality?"

Perhaps it was the lure of the white wires, maybe it was the barrage of TV and billboard ads with the silhouettes dancing to their own drummer, but eventually the iPod craze hit me as well and about 5 months ago I became more curious than opposed. That curiosity led to questions to friends and colleagues with iPods, and those questions led my husband to buy me my very own iPod this Christmas.

I am writing this posting to testify that the cult of iPod is alive and active here in the city. The first time I stepped on the subway with those white wires leading from my ears, down my coat and tucked neatly into my right pocket, I got the looks...and maybe even a couple of nods...from my fellow carriers. This is no joke, it's some kind of secret society. Many of you Apple fans may laugh that it's taken me so long to understand something that you've been a part of for a while, but I am not a fan of the MAC and I will not be placing one of the those apple stickers on my car/bike/guitar case anytime soon. I do, however, understand the lure of the iPod - especially for those of us who have to walk the streets everyday and participate in the experience of NYC public transportation.

In reference to the iPod, I am sure many of you have heard the comment, "It's like having your own soundtrack," and it is definitely this escapism quality that makes the device so attractive to many people who live in this and other big cities. But what about the sheer status of the white wires? They mean just as much as carrying a certain handbag and wearing a type of shoe. So do people simply wear the white ear buds but connect them to another, more affordable MP3 player? Or maybe just a discman? Isn't that the same thing as toting around a Canal Street knockoff?

What am I getting at with all of this? Well, wearing the iPod is definitely making a statement - you acknowledge that you have a basic grasp of digital music technology, you acknowledge that you appreciate the escape from the mundane, and I believe you also acknowledge the trend. Because, let's face it, sometimes that thing just won't turn on, or won't turn off, or you fumble it in your hands while holding a cup of coffee and trying to take off a glove and you hope it doesn't drop because those hard drives are not meant to last, but dude, it looks really cool and it makes you feel cool too.

1 comment:

stellaforstar said...

what do you do if you are like me and you are afraid that if you wear your ipod in public, someone will see the white headphones and try to mug you? i sacrifice cool fro safety adn that is why i am a fashion/trend LOSER.