T Nation

Ipods Are Ruining Society


While they might be a technology marvel, I am sick of not being able to even speak to people on the street, in a gym, etc. due to the fact that everyone seems to have headphones stuck in their ears at all times. "Good mornings", "How are you doing today" and the like are going to vanish from society due to the fact that individuals feel a need to listen to "Red Red Wine" 24 hours a day.

I live near a college campus, so I'm sure it's more prevelant here than other places. I'm not trying to knock Apple's stock down ( I actually own some, and an Ipod as well), but I honestly can see a shift from a society in which you can strike up a conversation with someone, to one in which people are annoyed to take a break from Hootie and the Blowfish's "Cracked Rear View" to say hi or give you a spot. Any thoughts?


I wear my headphones for the SOLE reason of not being bothered while in the gym. I don't feel like speaking to random people in the gym for longer than a head nod unless I know them. In fact, because of one guy at my gym who will follow people around just to talk to them (conversations are his real reason for being there as actually lifting is a very minor concern), I keep them in so I don't have to acknowledge him.

Maybe people just don't want to talk to you. Why do you feel the need to strike up conversations with everyone you see unless you know them?


The only time I use my mp3 player is in the gym. I don't like people trying to make small talk with me during my workout. I'll occasionally have someone ask for a spot, which I don't mind. I still greet the "regulars" in the gym; my earbuds don't get in the way of this.

I think the people you see walking around listening to music all the time are the same ones who you'd have a damn difficult time striking up a conversation with anyway - the people who give you one word responses to anything.


you must live somewhere in the south. Up here in the north, people without headphones will walk by you without even looking at you or saying anything.


It was the same way when the Walkman first came out.


They don't even do that in the south for the most part. A head nod is enough unless you know the guy. I don't usually just run up to random people I don't know and strike up conversations for no reason. In the gym, I might start a conversation with someone I perceive as being pretty serious simply because those are the types of people I like to hang around or talk to in the gym. Even then, I try to not interrupt their own focus or training.


I'm a bit of the same. I have my iPod going and my baseball hat pulled down nice and loooow.

But I think that up in the Northeast (in comparison to other areas of the country), people just tend to keep to themselves more anyway. It always takes me a day or so to adjust when I go to the South where I wonder why the hell the cashier at the grocery store is looking to get into an involved conversation (although the change tends to be a refreshing one).


Houston is full of transplants. Not very friendly.

Go to small towns in AL, NC, SC etc and people will talk your ears off.


That's humorous. You come to Jersey and start talking to random people on the street, people think you're a crazy. You'd probably get arrested at some point.

Headphones in the gym aren't bad. Most times they play such shit music in there that I need something harder...its hard to get ready for a ME squat when you're listening to the slow version of "Listen to your heart"....oh how I miss the days of hearing "Welcome to the Jungle" as soon as I walk in...


I only use my IPod during commuting. I'm so sick of hearing cell-phone conversations that I need my tunes for sanity. I'm not alone in this sentiment. In my opinion, cell phones are far worse than MP3s in the anti-social regard. You will likely not see two people out to lunch with each other listening to MP3s but it's pretty common to see both talking on cell phones simultaneously. Rude.



[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
You'd probably get arrested at some point.

Now that's funny. I read somewhere that NJ's state motto is "you have the right to remain silent..."


I only use it so I am not being bothered when I don't want to be. If I wanted to talk I would probably not be in the gym.


Anyone else ever realized you forgot your iPod at home or realized its battery was dead and still took your headphones into the gym just to keep people from bothering you?


It is true that growing up in a small southern town has more than something to do with it. For those who are more focused in the gym because of it, more power to you, there are many who would waste 10 minutes between sets shooting the breeze, which I agree, is not what I want to be doing in the gym. I guess what really amuses me are the ones that walk around with them on the street completely oblivious to any noise around them. I'm actually thinking the ipod "streetwalkers" might make me take up the art of pickpocketing.


Honestly, people who talk on the phone and drive are much more annoying than anything. They all think they are the one who can talk and drive well at the same time. Needless to say, they are very confused. It is always fun to ride behind the guy straddling two lanes going 10mph under the speed limit as he screams to whoever is on the other end of his Sprint service.


Yeap and wore em the whole time working out too. I just thought people didn't talk to me cause I didn't look friendly as opposed to having headphones in, nope, first time I didn't bring em you get those guys there just for conversation right in your ear. Never forgot em again.

With regards to out and about Toronto is about as rude as it gets, you can even say hi to people and they won't even respond let alone try and establish any kind of contact, lots of peeps just staring at the ground, pretty sad actually. Although it is quite different when you travel to smaller towns.


In the North East of England, people are friendly and reciprocate or start conversations. In the North West, much less friendly, loads of attitude. In London, they are all foreigners who don't speak English anyway. In North Wales they aren't many gyms at all so no problem there.


I do this all the time.


Forget the gym, come look at my school UCSD and tell me they arent anti-social. Schools are supposed to be social places where you can interact with your peers, not places to put on head phones while staring at the ground and walking around.

Its sickening.


Ipods are not neccasarily evil, but that all depends on how you use it. I'm sure the same could be said for television, alcohol, tobacco, and the sorts as these seem to ensalve so many people. I mean, if you listen to your tunes for enjoyment of life or a good song: go for it. There's certainly nothing wrong with that. But once anything, and I mean anything, comes across that line to consume your life, that's a real issue.

If you cant survive life without your Ipod, then there's certainly a problem. If you chose to avoid life's problems, create your own prison, or just cannot exist without tunes pumping through your ears, that's the problem. Granted I know the reason to listen to tunes is to escape but to be in constant use for an eternal getaway really should make anyone wonder.