Ipod Etiquette

27th October 2006

The first installment of my Thoughtful User Guide is up at The Morning News. It’s on iPod etiquette:

“Yes, we know you like music. We can see that it moves you. This is because you’re always moving—bopping your head, dancing, drumming, even singing along. Please, stop it. Otherwise, we’re forced to feign interest in your childlike enthusiasm for a song we can’t even hear. It’s exhausting.”

24 thoughts on “Ipod Etiquette

  1. Regina Clare Jane

    I wonder if having your iPod slung on your belt or attached to your purse or backpack displayed in the latest “skin” would be considered bad etiquette? I always thought it pretentious myself… conspicuous consumption anyone? As you can tell, I am not a fan of the iPod…
    Excellent, Maggie and yes, you are funny…

  2. Sarah

    Great article! I like the part about headphones being “do not disturb” signs. Back when I was an angsty freshman in college I would put headphones on everytime my perky cheerleader roommate came in. Never mind that it was obvious they weren’t connected to anything – but the point was clear.

    MAN, I was a jerk!

  3. ColoredRed

    So true. I specifically try to use my IPOD as a “Do Not Disturb” sign at work, most of the time it’s not even on. Unfortunately, my co-workers just don’t get it. Guess it doesn’t help that I have long hair that hides the tiny earbuds and a good portion of the cord. Looks like I need a plan B…

  4. Jonathan

    The interesting thing (at least to me) isn’t the behaviour of people who have iPods, and the effect on the people around them – it’s the fact that this is being written about like it’s anything new… suddenly all personal music players are an “iPod”.

    When the Sony Walkman became successful in the early 1980s all these arguments were churned through ad-infinitum.

    It feels like Deja-Vu.

  5. Kirs

    What? So now I only allowed to tap my toes? Fine! I’m going to get some tap shoes, though.

    God, seriously, aren’t those ipod dancers annoying though?

  6. Lizzie

    This is totally irrelevant but as I found the Where The Hell is Matt dancing video through you (it made me cry too) I thought I should draw your attention to the tribute video that he has put on his journal (wherethehellismatt.typepad.com) under all the comments about why he didn’t visit Israel. Brilliant!

  7. NellyFrittata

    I noticed your article got linked on Fark. I hope The Morning News doesn’t have any bandwidth issues.

  8. will senger

    Well there is one part of this article I find absolutely sick – old school sick where sick is not good.

    Here is the offending part:

    ome people spend obsessive amounts of time assembling mood-appropriate playlists and unearthing obscure bands. Asking these people for a carbon copy of their iPods is a close cousin to identity theft. Instead, ask for a few recommendations or advice on where to look for music you might like.

    Here is my reaction to this part of your article:

    You don’t become somebody and you are not some kind of artist if you happen to obsessively assemble mood-appropriate playlists. You are equally not as cool as you imagine yourself to be if you manage to “unearth” obscure bands. Let me first make the note that finding the band on the Internet eradicates any right to use the word obscure because attention whores are not obscure — and let me further explain that your assertion of hard drive copy being tantamount to identity theft as adolescent.

    You and your personal identity have nothing to do with your music or your plalists. If someone else offers to copy your drive you should be flattered.

    Do you design your own clothes? Did you build your own house or car? No? What do you mean no? OMFG, are you a poser who can’t develop her own taste? Like, seriously!

    You attract people who think they are e e cummings type cool by not punctuating or using capitals.

    You are so vanilla and your views about iPod etiquette are about 50% on and 50% all about you and your personal issues. Give us another shot at it with 100% on and say hi to your therapist for me.

  9. albtraum

    will senger –

    Well there is one part of your comment I find absolutely sick – old school sick where sick is not good.

    Here is the offending part:

    The whole thing.

    Here is my reaction to this part of your comment:

    It was a dumb comment.

    You are so dark, dark chocolate fudge and your views about the article on iPod etiquette are about 50% on and 50% all about you and your personal issues. Give us another shot at it with 100% on and say hi to your therapist for me.



    p.s. In case you’re too dense to get it, my point is that copying someone’s carefully assembled *anything* can often be annoying to the person who made the collection. I’ve copied some of your collage of poorly assembled words; how does it feel?

    p.p.s. Great article by the way — funny and on-point. I particularly detest talking to people with something in one or both of their ears.

  10. jonniker

    I don’t know, I’m not bothered when someone steals my playlist and/or listens to my music. *shrug* It’s not something people see and/or take credit for, it’s something for them to enjoy, which is what music should be. And the more people who can enjoy good things – even something I spent time assembling for whatever mood (which FYI, I would never do because I am lazy, and also violating of all kinds of iPod etiquette as presented here), I figure they get to enjoy it too. Yay for all of us!

    I don’t consider it tantamount to plagiarism, though. Maybe – and apparently – someone else would.

  11. Jennifer

    I must admit, I had a pre-iPod bit of embarrassment when I was riding on a subway somewhere and my walkman was too loud. It’s really really horribly embarrassing when people ask you to turn it down and then start talking about you in a foreign language right in front of you….

  12. paper

    One of my favorite things to do is walk in to a fitting room in a store, hear someone singing along to the musac, and sing along WITH them, in my tuneless, nasel voice. It always surprises them, and I get a good giggle.
    Singing along with the musac is somehow more amusing than with the iPod — maybe it’s the “come join me” aspect of it.

  13. KC Ramiez

    I’m from Manila. Here, people have made the iPod a status symbol. So whatever connotations attached to anything that is a status symbol, it’s much worse for the iPod here. People stomp along the streets with their iPods on display eventhough all it takes for a skilled thief is one quick snatch at their lanyards and it’s gone.

    The iPod here is almost worth a corporate entry-level’s one-month salary. So you can imagine the great lengths people will go through to show it off.

    I really plan to print your article and hand out copies. It’s a way of putting offenders (who are mostly ill-mannered anyway) in their right place.

  14. s.k.

    You know, I was with you until you got to the little snippet you included above in your post. Singing along in public is a little ridiculous, but now I’m not allowed to bop? Because it exhausts you for me to visibly enjoy my music?

    Perhaps we should all give up cute clothes and nice jewelry also… I mean, after all, it exhausts me to see people flaunting what they have when I can’t share in it.

    Oh, wait, nevermind- what this world totally needs is more people taking themselves too seriously.

Comments are closed.