Before the creation if the iPod, there were many other pieces of technology people used to communicate with such as the Phonograph or the record player, CD players and cassette players. Also since the iPod can access the internet, e-mails can be sent but before the invention of e-mails people would send letters which took more time. This essay will look at the history of the technology of the iPod, the current state of the technology and also my own opinion of the iPod’s future impact on society.
The record player or either known as the Phonograph was invented by Thomas A. Edison in 1877. The Phonograph would read the bumps and grooves on the vinyl and produce sounds (Yume, 2009, para. 1). People who wanted to listen to music would use this piece of technology as it was considered to be very new and trendy to have and also it created a new experience for people to enjoy music with. In 1925, the Phonograph became obsolete as radio technology and sales were on the rise (Vinyl Records Still Live, 2009). In the past people used to not have mp3 players such as iPods so interaction between individual would be more common such as talking to each other face to face. E-mails did not exist as well so writing a letter and sending it through different mediums was one of the options but it would not be as fast as sending e-mails (Rose, 2010). Before people were more encouraged to go outside to talk to people face to face since they did not have computers or iPods to connect and communicate with people without actually meeting them which hinders social interaction and relationships (Orlowski, 2005). CD players and cassette players were used in the past as portable music players instead of the iPod nowadays which has lead to the CD and cassette player’s end to becoming obsolete. Though they are obsolete now, they were considered to be very mainstream product to have before the development of mp3 players.
The iPod is very popular and widely used by many people. The iPod touch for example has been developed into a touch screen piece of technology where users can listen to audio, surf the internet and also watch videos with many other functions included (Daniel, 2009). The iPod touch is a portable device where people can carry it around due to its small size and shape which makes it very convenient compared to having a bulky CD player or a cassette player. Socialization can also be argued that the iPod can be beneficial for social interactions. Sending e-mails across long distances is a lot faster than sending a letter which also makes it easier for people to connect across long distances (Rose, 2010). Also people who listen to their iPods or music can have control over their personal space which makes people happier, giving them the feeling of control that they like and confidence that they need (Song, 2010). With the feeling of confidence and happiness it can motivate people to converse with people or overall have a more positive attitude. Though it can be seen that the iPod hinders social interaction as well as some schools have banned students from bringing their iPods to school because it encourages social isolation (Orlowski, 2005). This affects their ability to communicate with other students or society in general. Interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their iPods instead of trying to meet new people (Song, 2010). The iPod is now an icon of modern and popular culture, it lets people know that you are fashionable (Egan, 2007). Many people listen to their audio as a source of entertainment. Through Apple’s advertising and design, it has established a close connection with pop cultural trends and become a symbol for new consumptions of music in modern society (Larrson, 2005). The impression of having an iPod makes it seem like a fun item to have as can seen with the adverts where people are dancing with their iPods. Also peer pressure can be a factor in the iPod’s popularity (Johnson, 2005). Teenagers sometimes follow trends more and sometimes they want to fit into crowds of some sort they think having an iPod can help with being popular and fitting in.
With the iPod, my perspective of what will happen to it in the future would be it will remain to be a very popular piece of technology to have unless another company creates a more innovative and popular piece of technology that allows the user to listen to music. With the iPod it is not only the experience of listening to music that makes it so popular but also the extra functions it has such as games and other applications that can help someone with their daily schedules. Also since Apple releases new versions of their iPod family it is very hard to compete with it in the mp3 market. Also how the iPod is viewed in the public affects its popularity as well as some people think that having an iPod is very trendy and fashionable and some people like following trends. Though in the future I believe that there will be a product that will be more popular than the iPod but I don’t believe that will be any time soon but Apple may be the one creating this technology in the future. Since the iPod also creates this disconnection with the person listening to music and to social interactions, more and more people will be socially disconnected since with their iPods people can access the internet and communicate like that instead of having face to face conversations. All these things can impact society because with the iPods great competition in the mp3 market, it can motivate other companies to create more innovative products or it could potentially ruin them as no one is interested in their products which may force companies to close down. The newer generations of people will be more adapted to technology and younger people have more access to technology so in the future society may be even more disconnected and more focused on being disconnected and communicating through mediums like the iPod.
Daniel, I. (2009). Evolution of the MP3 Player. Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://www.pcworld.com/article/174725/evolution_of_the_mp3_player.html
Egan, R. (2007). IPod’s Impact on Modern Culture. Retrieved March 9, 2011 from http://www.suite101.com/content/ipods-impact-on-modern-culture-a25282
Johnson, S. (2009). Effects of iPod on teenagers. Retrieved March 9, 2011 from http://www.techacid.com/2008/12/24/effects-of-ipod-on-teenagers/
Larsson, M. (2005). Why iPod? Retrieved March 9, 2011 from http://www.scribd.com/doc/8688101/Cultural-Marketing-Analysis-Why-iPod-A-Case-Study
Orlowski, A. (2005). Should iPods carry health warnings. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/27/ipod_health_warnings/
Rose, S. (2010). How the web is affecting social relations. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://www.helium.com/items/1879501-how-the-web-is-affecting-social-relations
Song, K. (2010). iPods are our Foes. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~krystles/NegativeEffects.html
Song, K. (2010). iPods are our Friends. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~krystles/PositiveEffects.html
Vinyl Records Still Live. Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://www.vinylrecordslive.co.uk/vinyl-record-player.html
Yume, H. (2009). The Record Player. Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://articles.mibba.com/History/1961/The-Record-Player