I don't blame all of societies ills or ill manners on ipods alone.
Nor would I blame them on any one thing.
However, the way I see much of todays conveniences, entertainment or technology being used seems very isolating to me.
I do seriously put on muffs when I need to separate myself from what's going on around me. That's because it seems I'm oversensitive to sounds in general, and what some people find even soothing, I find makes me feels like I'm suffering the tortures of the damned. Strangely enough, I don't find sounds of construction/traffic at all bothersome. In some way, I identify these sounds as necessary to the immediate enviroment I'm in. A building needs to be constructed, so there's going to be jackhammers. I enjoy the sounds of most birds, water in nature, the wind in the trees, loud thunder, a kid laughing while playing in their yard.
What I do find unpleasant are sounds that, the only way I can say it is, only there because they are being artifically produced, without being a necessary byproduct of the immediate environment.
I think there's always been people like that, and have dealt with it in some way.
Looking around on an average day, it appears that people are more and more are dependant on isolating themselves within ringtones, cell phones, ipods, iphones, etc. Are these to blame for societies ills? What came first the chicken or the egg? Did people get so disgusting with the world they had to tune out by plugging in? Or, because it's the latest thing, have they become unaccustomed to dealing with real people, in the desire to be hip and be seen with the latest gizmo?
Sitting on my porch, I could be in the year 2008 or 1798. I imagine people going to work, perhaps humming a tune at times, but basically just living with and enjoying the sounds present around them.
I wonder if some people, those who are always plugged, even know what the world sounds like. I imagine some people might look up and say "What's that?"....and the answer would be "leaves russling in the breeze."
I imagine people in 1798 had a lot of societal ills. But one of them wasn't lack of communication because someone said "shhhh!!! my TV show is on"
It's not technology, it how dependant we become on it.
I don't think I want to be that dependant.