Almost everyone I know has one or more iPods. We pay exorbitant amounts of money for them and pump extra money through accessories and electricity to charge them, older generations got along fine without them, and some people would say that they are an unnecessary distraction. Once you buy one you have to constantly update it with new music and apps as well as keep in touch with your social networks through it. If you didn’t get one you could save money and simplify your life, so are they worth it? Are the things we do nowadays more shallow and less meaningful then what people have done in the past, or is the lens through which we see the past through different than the one we view the world today? IPod touches are especially engrossing with the multitudes of applications or “apps” and the almost infinite functions that those apps can preform. There are Apps for the real physical world that can help you and there are apps that connect you to the cyberworld. You can update your Facebook status and send tweets or get engrossed in games like Angry Birds or Temple Run. iPods have great potential in both negative and positive directions. You can on one hand get distracted from real work or you can use it to be more organized and productive. This complex device has the potential to simplify your life. You don’t have to go out in the woods alone to find meaning in life, you just have to find ways take a step back and look differently at your routine life. If you can use modern technology to do that than you are probably going to be better off than other people lost in this complicated age.
When I was a baby, my parents would sing lullabies to me to get me to go to bed, creating positive associations from a very young age between music, family, and my personal favorite, sleep. Music is something that can’t quite be explained but it universally enjoyed and as variant as nature itself. iPods are just the latest manifestation of the human desire for music, but it is not like past versions of listening to music. It used to be that it was a shared pleasure. People would sing to each other, artists would preform together, even the record player would project sound throughout an entire room, but when you listen to your iPod you are most times doing it alone. Headphones close your ears to the world and give you a little bubble without noise input from the outside world. I read on a hiking website once on a list of things to bring that you should bring your ears to listen to nature and leave the iPod at home. By the look of it though, iPods are becoming more sleek and almost invisible, like they are trying to blend in. It seems that the evolution of the iPods will never stop. Apple just keeps coming out with new and improved versions, which while showing admirable determination and innovation, also keeps us continually trapped in the cyberworld of constant information and instant gratification. If we showed such determination and innovation in our own lives instead of buying it from Apple, the world might be a better place.
Wi-Fi and 3G are like a blanket that most of the population is under. Perhaps the households of nature and cyberspace aren’t two separate places, though, but rather are like rooms of the bigger house that we can walk through and sometimes stay in one more than others. It’s easy to get stuck in the house or the rooms or think that you are locked in, but if you find a way out or climb out though a hypothetical window you can see the house from a different perspective. You don’t have to leave the house but you shouldn’t just live in it blindly and not understand the beauty of it.
We never really leave nature behind, though; trees are there putting out oxygen for us day after day, we enjoy the sun warming us, and even the most urban of people appreciate pretty flowers. You can see from the fact that there are apps for nature backgrounds on our iPods, which like the Thoreau iPod…