Sunday, October 18, 2009

Generation i

So we have the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. I think we should now be in the Generation “i”. I have been noticing that everyone I seem to walk past lately in the streets has white earphones draping down their bodies. I normally am one of these people too, but yesterday I went for a stroll without my beloved music and actually listened to the world. And again this morning walking to work, I didn’t don the earphones; I just walked in music-less.
Now I understand that almost everyone on the face of the planet has an ipod or iphone these days, I mean I have the phone the pod and the shuffle, and I understand that they each do have a great purpose. I couldn’t do an overseas trip with my ipod, or a long drive in the car without it. But I am starting to think that I somehow rely on it a little too much. It’s almost like one of my senses has been taken over.
Take travelling for example, you are wandering around a new city or town that you have never been to before, there are so many new sights and smells that you can take in, yet you have your earphones in with some song from an old playlist you made 6 months earlier streaming into your ears. The sound of a new city also evokes a feeling and emotions and then a memory in time. I get that having music when travelling is a necessity but wouldn’t you want to take it the sound of the locals at the bakery having a conversation while they purchase their loaf of bread? Or the chit chat of people on a train on their morning commute? Or if you are sitting in a park eating the local cheese and drinking the local vino, would you not want to be surrounded by the locals doing the same? If you are in a country that speaks another language, don’t you try to half work out what they are talking about, or imagine what they could be talking about? I just feel that if you had your ipod in at times like these you would be missing so much about that moment. We travel to see new sights and experience different cultures and places. We do this by sight, touch, smells and sounds.
This also goes for the same situations in your own city and suburb. I grew up in the suburbs and my memory of child hood is the yells and screams of all of the kids in the backyard or yelling marco polo around our pool on the weekends. I don’t want to get all insightful and crap but, have those days gone? Last time I went home to mums, I looked over the back fence and the next door neighbours kids were on their laptops with earphones in.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a full supporter and believer in the ipod and that it certainly does have a purpose in life with me. And I do not know what I did without my iphone some days, but I also think that it has taken over my life a little too much. Good on Apple for doing this, in the mass market scale of things, but I kind of just want to take a step backwards and open my ears so to speak. Lately I feel like I have been missing some things by working 6 days a week, and by having the lifestyle that I have had over the past 12 months. Surely it wouldn’t be that bad taking a step backwards and just enjoying the mundane things in the everyday that we almost don’t even think/hear about?

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