iPod Privacy & Your Wandering Eyes

When you get on a train, anywhere in the city, you will no doubt see a dozen other people zoning out with their iPods/iPhones/iPod Nanos/iPod Clips/iPod Mini… well, you get the point.  Everyone, almost, has an iPod nowadays.  Have you ever tried to look at what someone else is listening to on their iPod?  Well, unless they are lost in a state of music euphoria, or have their eyes shut, they will, I assure you, see that you’re trying to sneak a peak at ther library of musical passion and tilt their iPod away or turn it over altogether.  You don’t believe me?  Go try it.

I can attest to this because subconsciously I do it, too.  If someones eyes might be wandering a bit too close to my personal space, there goes my iPod!  I tilt it almost instantly.  “Damn it!” I say to myself.  What’d I care if they know what I’m listening to?  Will it kill me?  Will it lead to a stalker?  That’s a bit of a self-centered assumption, don’t you think?  What does our music say about us, really?

Let’s see what my playlist says about me.

  1. Adam’s Song (Blink 182)
  2. Mr. Brightside (The Killers)
  3. Everywhere (Michelle Branch)
  4. Never Again (Kelly Clarkson)
  5. You’re So Damn Hot (OK Go)
  6. Beverly Hills (Weezer)
  7. Ocean Avenue (Yellowcard)
  8. Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)
  9. No One (Cold)
  10. La La (Ashlee Simpson)
  11. Bubble Toes (Jack Johnson)
  12. Flathead (The Fratellis)
  13. Do the Evolution (Pearl Jam)
  14. Mad World (Gary Jules)
  15. Lonely Day (System of a Down)
  16. Just a Little Girl (Amy Studt)
  17. Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)
  18. The Kids Aren’t Alright (The Offspring)
  19. We Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who)
  20. Hey Jude (The Beatles)
  21. Pretty Fly (The Offspring)
  22. Walking on the Sun (Smash Mouth)
  23. Miami (Will Smith)
  24. Wondering (Good Charlotte)
  25. Stacy’s Mom (?)
  26. Ants Marching (Dave Matthews Band)
  27. Miss Independent (Kelly Clarkson)
  28. Lightning Crashes (Live)
  29. Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
  30. Time of Your Life (Green Day)

That sure is a random assortment of songs.  I have quite a few songs that could be considered “depressing” including “No One,” “Adam’s Song,” “Mad World,” and “Lonely Day."  That says depressed, lonely, and suicidal.  I am none of the above.  Okay, so my music says nothing about me so far.  Let’s keep going.

  • Miss Independent – Feminist!
  • Time of Your Life – I’ve had some good times in my life.
  • Pretty Fly – I was a child of the 90’s.
  • Miami – I’m definitely not a fan of Florida, though!

Which songs say that I’m a girl who wants a guy?  Wondering and Everything.

Looking at this list now, none of my music really says much of anything about me.  They were all just popular when I was growing up, or they make me think of a certain time in my life – and that makes me smile.  So what does our playlist really say about us?  According to the above analysis, absolutely nothing.  So why don’t we want people looking at what we’re listening to?  Maybe because it’s one of the last places in the digital world that we can truly retain our privacy.  It’s not monitored by the government, only by you.  Or we could be afraid of being judged.  If our music doesn’t directly reflect who we are, then strangers can make incorrect assumptions about us.  But is that really so scary?  I don’t think so, but maybe.  Though in a city this big (and this small!), the person sitting next to you on the A-train could be your next boss.

So maybe it’s best we "listen” carefully.

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