The immense storage capacity of iPod and its imitators offers at least the opportunity for total, uninterrupted isolation from one’s surroundings for long — extremely long — periods of time. It is now possible to commute, to stroll, to shop, even to go to a Knicks game, without having to listen to another human being, or even the same song. There is no rewinding or CD-changing to permit the outside world to leak inside the cocoon. With a jukebox in your pocket, a suitable tune is always at the ready, no matter your mood. And if you have little white ear buds rammed in your ears, there is always an excuse not to acknowledge fellow humans. “I’m busy right now,” iPod users seem to say. “I’ll get back to you in 10,000 songs.”
Almost as bad as celphones. Maybe worse.