Feeling cramped? Is the world pressing in on you? Does it seem that your personal space, that imagined aura that separates you from the next guy, is shrinking?
Maybe you should get an iPod.
According to a BBC News report, Dr. Michael Bull, a lecturer in Culture and Media Studies at the University of Sussex, claims that people use devices like the iPod to help reclaim personal space. Dr. Bull say that we are overloaded with visual inputs, and we use the iPod and a set of headphones to shut out the world, wrapping ourselves in a sphere of music. From the BBC article:
We live in a visually dominated culture and suffer constant bombardment by visible messages.
Adverts, shop fascias, street signs, the clothes of fellow pedestrians, newspaper headlines, magazine front covers, car designs create a visual cacophony.
But, says Dr. Bull, it is because of this deafening visual chorus that exercising choice over what we listen to is so important.
Through interviews with Walkman owners and now iPod buyers, he found that listening to music acts as a shield, aura or cocoon.
Using headphones helps to keep the world at bay and reclaim some space.
"They construct their moods, they re-make the time of their day," says Dr. Bull., "Itis a much more active process even though itis dependent on the machinery."
Choice is the key factor, he says. By choosing the music, you reclaim some of the world - itis no longer dominated by messages pointed at you.
Thereis more in the full article at the BBC Web site.