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iPod Video: Cultural Progress or Decline?
the first time i heard Apple was making iPods with video capability, i thought what millions of other people hopefully thought: why the hell would i want to spend $300-$400 for screensize that rivals the GameBoy? and do i really need 24/7 access to tv, movies, and music videos? do i need to be plugged in while i'm on the bus, train, in the car, waiting in line, or in the gym? and why doesn't it come in purple? oh, and why can't i play my GameBoy games on the same machine?
the obvious answer to me was "um, no." i suffer from a lack of peace and quiet as it is, and i work from home! i don't even face rush hour traffic anymore. but i still get more than i need of technology. i work on a computer with instant access to the internet. i have television, dvd player, and plenty of music (though, strangely, no home stereo). i had a Sony Discman until the damn thing broke on me while i was in Europe. all of a sudden, the port for the earphones no longer produced a connection... but that's not my point. stop distracting me.
look, i saw how they were marketing cellphones to pre-teens and teens five years ago. one day everything is normal and the next, everywhere i go, every kid waiting in any kind of line is playing a game on or talking on a cellphone. and they were mostly stupid games, too. but whatever. it was a gadget to coddle people's impatience. i really can't judge too severly on that topic - i'm just bitter that my phone didn't come with chess.
everyone has their gadgets these days, and the trend is to put as many gadgets/options into one device to corner the market on flexibility and all-in-one capability. adults have their PDAs. kids and adults have their cellphones, notebook computers, and iPods. soon it will be one gadget that is cellphone, iPod Video, laptop, and PDA. we're almost there already. you will be a fully functioning office unto yourself without need of face-to-face contact anywhere you go, except for the unavoidable face-time with the lady at the Starbucks counter (at least, until they figure out how to have an order kiosk like they do at movie theaters).
i wanted to come down hard on iPod and PDAs and all that junk. i wanted to tell you how technology is destroying the fabric of the community. while this slightly inaccurate statement may be mostly true, i can't condemn all the techno-goodies. why not? because i use them. because i want to use them.
because i want to move to another country and still be able to maintain business relationships with my clients here. i want to take my wife and potential children somewhere beautiful to enjoy a culture that doesn't stress people out. in plain English, i'd like to use the technology to milk the system i despise for the money to live a better life elsewhere. kudos to me! some may think it's hypocritical, but i think it's brilliant. if you can't beat the system, ethically manipulate it to benefit you and those you love.
besides, i think an iPod Video would come in really handy when i'm sitting on that stupid exercise bike at the gym and i need a distraction to keep going. they have televisions on the wall, but who gets motivated to push harder by CNN? being the LOST junkie that i am (yes, i had to mention LOST - i cannot curb my fascination), i would watch reruns over and over, trying to pick out every nuance possible so i can solve the show's mysteries.
besides, if i'm living in Panama a year or two from now, i'll probably download the show through iTunes to keep up. if you can't beat the system, use the system.