IPOD, IPhone Hack & The Sony Walkman – A Case Of Isolation?

Slow down with that IPhone Hack your wanting to try out for just a second and let’s look at some history!

With the invention of the Stereobelt in 1972 being the first portable music player it wasn’t until 1979 when Sony brought to the world market the well known “Walkman” line of portable audio products. The price for portable audio is well below the original Sony Walkman price of $1000 putting personal audio in the hands of just about everyone. You can find mp3 players from $10 up to a few hundred dollars. A 8GB Ipod Nano will run you around $180.00 and is a large capacity player including full motion video for most music listeners. This low pricing combined with the excellent mass marketing campaigns of the Ipod from Apple has resulted in a second portable audio revolution. Only now just about everyone has access to a portable audio player.

In the 1980’s I remember maybe 3 or 4 kids in our entire school with Walkmans. The Sony Walkman was considered a rich kids toys and due to the few people that had access to such luxury they were often looked on as inferior and out of place compared to the transistor radios and boom boxes that were popular among group listening. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to be walking down the street and seeing a couple people grooving to a band you loved for you to stop and listen and strike up a conversation around the music you were listening to. Many friendships were sparked up in just this way.

With so many Ipods, Zune’s and other mp3 players in the hands of so many it seems we have dug ourselves into an ear-bud hole so to speak. Every morning I’ll get aboard a bus for work and there will be many people with ear-buds jamming away. Only thing is, I don’t know what they are listening to, and with that lack of knowledge I am unable to enjoy the music with them or, even comment on what they are listening to. Of course some may see such a gesture as butting into someone Else’s business. I see it as self-imposed isolation by the mass public. Yes it’s a great and amazing thing to be able to carry your entire music library with you in your pocket however at what cost?

The rapid evolution of technology in the past 20 years has changed the core fundamentals of how we interact with each other in our daily lives. Once we gathered around street corners on a given Saturday night. Today we order pizza online for home delivery so we can be well nourished while taking our maximum allotted 15 minute break from Word Of Warcraft. Our dependence on high technology for our communication needs is increasing more rapidly than ever. There is an ever growing demand for products which allow us to do more in a given time period. Gone are the days where you just checked your mailbox and answering machines.

There however is a great light at the end of the tunnel! Rapidly evolving social networking technologies are changing the entire landscape of the global Internet. This is best represented by mainstream innovations such as Myspace and Facebook. Socialization is the hottest online trend going. By socializing online actions you can naturally let those that you know what you’ve been up to with no interaction on your part whatsoever. Post a article to your blog, update it to twitter, then facebook, then myspace, then on and on and on. Socialization is viral and we can expect great innovations that will focus on elevating our social isolation out of the darkness and into the world again.

You are free to resume your Iphone Hack in progress!

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