Friday, August 17, 2007

Those Ipod Headphone & Those Roller Shoes

These two objects made me think this morning.

First. Those white ipod headphones that EVERYONE wears. The are the young hipsters in tight jeans and all stars. Business men on the subway who get off at Times Square. Even religious people who listen to the TorahPod.

It's amazing how universal ipods and there white, signature headphones are. There isn't any product quite as universal that I can think of. Yes, there are cell phones, but those are "essential" in a way, and often replace land lines entirely. What else does almost everyone own, that's so non-essential?

Ok. So everyone has an ipod. What gets me though is when people have in the headphones when they are in a social situation. This morning, I walked by a diner and saw a little kid (probably 10 years old) who was sitting with him mom at the diner counter, having breakfast. He had in his obligatory ipod headphones. Isn't he interacting with his mother? Aren't they in a social setting?!

Seeing this kid reminded me of when I coached rowing this past school year at NYU. So one morning, we were at the boathouse early and it was very dark. On this one morning (among the many), one team member (a very unpleasant one who eventually quit) and I were standing out on the dock. I was talking to him about what that morning's practice was going to be. In the dark, I didn't see much; his white apple headphones DID stand out and catch my attention.

So, I'm speaking to this kid, or at least trying. And he has his headphones in. Is the ipod on pause? Is the volume down? Is there even an ipod in his pocket or is this all some absurd allusion? So I said, "Hey, Bob, do you mind taking out your headphones?" Of course, he is insolent, saying it's on pause. Right. Do I believe him? Or is he lying to me? What is going on here?!

I know. I sound a little paranoid.

The point here: what have we come to that people sit together, with their headphones in and ipods on, (or on their phones) and no one is talking to each other? Do we really want to be that anti-social?

******Roller Shoes
On a lighter note, I saw the first adult I've seen wearing roller shoes this morning. He would run and then pop out the wheels. I am not sure how they work--my main question is how did he run with them like regular shoes, and then the wheels came out? But the guy looked like he was having an awesome time. He was going much faster than me, and it looked fun. As I said, I haven't seen too many adults wearing these shoes. I wonder why not?

Another question: How do people not fall? Like with roller blades or roller skates? How is it just smooth gliding?

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