The iPod and Being Present

I’m well known for being addicted to my electronic devices. It’s virtually impossible for me to put down my iPhone or iPad without getting some anxiety. I never forget to wear my Apple Watch and I work on my Mac constantly. AirPods fade away and basically become a part of you. They are, in my opinion, the first truly consumer bionic modifications to the human body.

Recently, there’s been a trend arising where people breathe new life into old iPods. While that’s super cool and exciting, the reason for doing so isn’t as clear. So far, the most common answer I’ve gotten is that it feels good to own your music and have it locally. But this got me thinking. Maybe everyone should return to the days of the iPod. After all, iPod is one of if not the only electronic device that you can still use and be “unplugged.” iPods weren’t connected to the web, they didn’t have any major distractions like social media or video, they were simply full of music, podcasts, and audiobooks that we enjoyed. Headphones with cables kept us present. You never forgot that you had these white bulbs in your ears. This is all what made the iPod so great. You could cave a truly great experience where you could just relax, live your life, and listen to some audio. You didn’t get bothered with notifications, you didn’t get distracted by Twitter mentions, you didn’t fall into an endless hole of Wikipedia searches, and you didn’t have to constantly check email or Slack. The beauty of the iPod is that it was one of those rare electronic devices that still kept you present.

A few days ago I ordered a fourth generation iPod. I made a conscious decision to buy the monochromatic version, not the iPod Photo. I did this because I wanted to separate it from the pack of bright and colorful distracting devices. All I want is the basics, a classic white iPod with a click wheel that has enough space to store my music and podcasts. My 20 gigabyte iPod arrives this week and I’m planning to write about my experiences with it. I dusted off my wired Apple earphones and my 30 pin connectors and I’m ready to rock and roll.

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