What? I Couldn’t Hear You, I Was Listening to My IPod

January 11, 2010
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Have you ever tried to have a conversation with some face to face, but they are too distracted by their phone or IPod. Its as if they are saying, don’t talk to me I’m busy. They are cutting themselves off from the rest of the world, and they are messing up their social lives. Well, at least when you are using your phone you are still talking with someone. When we see people listening to their IPods, there is no point in even trying to talk to them because they just ignore you. Technology such as computers and internet can help improve peoples socially, but technology like IPods can interfere with people’s social lives.

Computers, phones, and internet can help improve people’s social lives. They can also help us if we are shy, and I would know since I am shy. In the article, “Untangling the Social Impact of the Internet” by Yamauchi Yutaka and Jean-Francois Coget, they say, “The Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a great sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others” (1). I agree with this, because I don’t feel comfortable talking to people face to face, and I feel more comfortable talking to some through the computer or the phone. I guess its because not seeing them makes you more comfortable, because they can’t judge you on your appearance.

I think the bad type of technology is IPods, because they cut you off from everything else around you. They are destroying our social lives. A good example of this comes from the article, “Attack of the iZombies” by Krystle Song, it says, “’Oh, I was listening to my IPod. My Bad.’ Visible from a good distance away, white earphones signal one thing to most people: don’t bother trying to talk to me” (1). This is a perfect example of what happens most of the time when we try to ask someone something when they are listening to their IPod. I’m not saying we need to get rid of IPods or anything, I’m just saying that you should probably listen to your IPod with one headphone in, so you don’t destroy your social life.

Not everyone would agree with me though, in fact, four out of the six articles my class read about this topic would disagree with me. For example the article, “Is the Internet Affecting the Social Skills of Our Children” by Bob Affonso, says that, “Data showed that as people in this sample used the Internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends. They also reported spending less time talking with their families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed” (1). This is obviously unreliable testimony and selective sampling. I say that it is unreliable testimony, because this article is from 1999. It is also selective sampling, because he only surveyed 169 people, and they were all from Pittsburg. I know, and you know that there is way more people with access to internet than that. Today we have websites like Facebook and MySpace to help us stay connected to family and friends.

Another article that disagrees with me is, “The Impact of Internet use on Sociability” by Norman Nie and Sunshine Hillygus. It has a chart that lists social activities, and the ratio of minutes per day that non-internet users and internet users do those social activities. The problem I see with this is nothing there that says were they got this from or how many people were surveyed. Also eight out of the ten activities listed show non-internet users spending more time doing it by less than six minuets. That is not a very big difference, plus this article came out in 2002. I also get the feeling there was selective sampling also, because of their section called “With Whom”. It says non-internet users spent 287.4 minuets with their family and 94.2 minuets with their friends. Where internet users spent 185 minuets with their families and 59.8 minuets with their friends. They don’t say who they surveyed. If it were kids, it would be equal, because we are at school most of the time. If it was adults, it could be a mixture, because my parents use the internet, but we spend a lot of time together.

Internet and computers can help almost everyone out socially, but I think IPods can only isolate us and make us less social. Yes IPods are great and all, but come on people if your going to be around people, at least take out one headphone so you don’t destroy your social life. They are great for at home or in the car, but we need to be more social, or else you are going to feel awkward when you have to interact with others in your career. I’m not saying to get rid of your IPods because of this; I’m saying that we need to stop shutting ourselves out from the rest of the world.

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SallySunshine said...
Aug. 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm
I like how youv'e said ipods need to be used in their place, but not in the car. You need both ears to listen out for traffic and emergancy vehicals, both oncoming and behind. If you have both ears occupied by the music, the only thing that will give away the fact you have an abulance behind you, waiting for you to move into the intersection where you've stopped would be the lights if you even bothered to look into the rearview mirror.  Ipods are perfect for alone time or when you... (more »)
never_before_seen said...
Oct. 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm
i agree. ipods and such are great for at home or in the gym, but not in a social situation. nice work!
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