The iPod changed everything — the good and the bad

By Erika Weisense
Milwaukie Writing mom,

Since first introduced in 2001, Apple’s iPod has taken the world by storm, occupying a huge share of the portable music device market. As an iPod owner myself, I can attest to this modern Walkman’s wonderful qualities: It is amazing to create and carry your own music library with you wherever you go. Listening to music can be inspiring, relaxing and motivating. iPods can hold thousands of songs, audio books, movies, TV shows and Podcasts, giving you an array of entertainment all stored in a pocket-sized device.

Though especially popular with youth, people of all ages have now adopted the trend of listening to music anywhere, anytime. So is there any harm in all this private listening to music? Some critics say “yes.” Because the iPod “ear buds” fit inside the ears rather than resting on top them, there are some valid concerns that listening to iPods too loudly could damage one’s hearing.

Do iPods make us less social? Maybe. People wearing headphones can sometimes send anti-social signals that say, “Don’t bother me! I’m in my own little world.” When used at inappropriate times, iPod use can lead to rude behavior. I once had a student try and talk to me about his research paper while still wearing his iPod headphones.

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