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Are Ipods the Ultimate Symbol of Social Isolation?

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Are Ipods the Ultimate Symbol of Social Isolation?

Postby raindreamer333 » August 7th, 2010, 2:55 am

I don't know, but I have Ipods, or any portable music playing device for that matter. I am a very social person, so I hate stepping on to a bus or train, filled with strangers who I could talk to, but who have completely closed themselves off from the world by listening to a portable music device.

It is just so sad. I mean the train or bus would be a perfect, safe place to meet strangers and just chat. Chat about anything. But now you can't do that anymore. I just hate seeing people walking around completely cut off socially from the world around them.

Does anyone else feel this way?
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Postby MrPeabody » August 7th, 2010, 3:04 am

I personally use an IPod . I download discussions, talk, and lectures, and so can always be learning even when driving the car, waiting on the line, waiting at an airport, or exercising. People seem to have no problems interrupting me when they want. Although, I think you have a valid point. What irritates me is when someone loudly talks over his cell phone, or they have the headset so it looks like they are talking into thin air. That is also isolating also – you only talk with people you know over your cell phone but ignore everyone in your immediate environment.
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Postby Mr S » August 9th, 2010, 2:39 pm

I use one while I'm commuting to various places but I download talk radio or other things where I am learning something, I don't listen to music on it. I'm in the Philippines and most don't approach foreigners regardless cause they feel insecure about their English language skills. The ones that try to chat me up are usually street people or gay guys who have ulterior motives anyways.

I'm not much of an extrovert so I don't care if I chat with someone or stare out the window into nothingness, lost in my own thoughts.
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Postby ladislav » August 9th, 2010, 2:49 pm

I'm in the Philippines and most don't approach foreigners regardless cause they feel insecure about their English language skills.


Most Oriental peoples have this complex towards a white person. It looks like racial discrimination but it really isn't. This all started with the colonial incursions and then with the introduction of English as an international language. You cannot expect an Oriental person to approach you and in his language start a conversation or say- "Hello brother, how is life " in the language of the country. An impossibility.
Spaniards, Latinos, French people or most white races upon seeing an Oriental person in the Spanish, French, German speaking land will simply talk to them in the language of the country they are in. The way it should be.
Shows you that things are never equal.
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Postby globetrotter » August 9th, 2010, 5:53 pm

This happened 30 years ago and is nothing new.

The Sony Walkman, 1980. Same worries, concerns, precise same language in newspaper articles.

Just like the re-tread of AGW over the past decades.

Ignore this and move on...
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Postby gsjackson » August 9th, 2010, 9:32 pm

globetrotter wrote:This happened 30 years ago and is nothing new.

The Sony Walkman, 1980. Same worries, concerns, precise same language in newspaper articles.

Just like the re-tread of AGW over the past decades.

Ignore this and move on...


When the Chinese get permanently attached (physically and mentally) to their machines, as Americans are, you won't see the Chinese women "out and about" nearly so much as you're reporting now. One reason American women are completely unapproachable now is that they are othwerwise occupied, on their phones, i-pods or whatever. Face-to-face culture has disappeared here, and become a frightening thing to Americans.
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Postby Free » August 10th, 2010, 5:06 pm

Over the past 10 years or so I have noticed an increase around the globe of people closing in more. Not quite sure what it is.

For the recent 2 years or so, I'll go out on a limb and suggest that people sense something in the air and are being more into a protectivism (a word?) nature. There are always exceptions, but be it in Europe, latin america or parts of Asia, I've personally noticed that if people more or less have their basic needs met, they are less apt nowadays to open up and instead, more concerned with preserving those things. Especially anything financially related.
Look at how many individual bubbles are out there. Individual couples, groups, families.
This is not just me, I've watched the lack of interaction amongst other separate individuals and groups. People just sticking to their own.

I sort of see part of it as selfish in ways. If they have what they need (i.e. circle of friends, a relationship, etc.), the world of today, they seem to be must less apt to venture out to include the new guy for example. Almost as if they have no needs unfulfilled and basically don't need you.
Actually, you would be more of a drain on them.
Just some observations and theorizing here.

Also too with hard economic times globally, people are mentally and emotionally more tied down with those worries, this affects relations. As well they are spending less on fun time. I notice people more serious. Working more (when they have jobs).

It may seem sort of negative, but it's almost like people care less. I see it though as more of a protectivsim thing and mixed in with higher levels of selfishness.
Then there are the category of hurt individuals who just want to escape, and in this thread's example, put on their headphones or fiddle with their tech device.

And, it's almost like nowadays, people are just simply uncomfortable to sit still, without fidgeting with something. Sort of insecure about the stillness.

Obviously this is generalizing, but I've noticed it quite a bit and globally. I remember some countries not too long ago where they didn't have so many concerns and so where more apt to open up to outsiders. The same places now? Well, they have issues and naturally are more focused on taking care of their own verses opening to some outsider. If they have extra time and energy for you, then fine. Otherwise, no. For you to pursue, it's like extra struggle just to hang out.

I just think we are living in different times these past 5-10 years or so. More so the past 5 years for sure.

Now that I've bummed myself out, let me go take a stroll in the park nearby and at least be thankfully I'm not in the tense U.S.

P.S. I used to always listen while on a stroll. I've since purposely put away the device when I'm out, even though I know I could be taking advantage of the time to learn for example. I'd rather listen to the sound of life, and nature at times and when the opportunities are there, to engage with others. People have approached me more whereas otherwise with buds in the ears, they would not. Yet still, all the above still applies. It's certainly nowhere near like some recent years ago. I sometimes vision and long for the 1700's as an example. There's just way too much Stuff in life nowadays. Sensory overload and too much distraction. No wonder human relations suffer more.
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