... not on purpose. It just happened.
Early Saturday morning, the sun is out, my pre-teen child is holed up in the basement playing Wii (when I was a kid it was Atari...), and I sat down with a cup of coffee to watch a movie I’ve wanted to watch for a while and never caught from the beginning: “Definitely, Maybe”…
The opening scene then got me to thinking. You see, in this scene, as the main character steps out of his office building to walk to his daughter’s school, he talks about finding just the right song for the moment, the day, the walk…
It’s not the song that got me thinking, or even the sentiment.
It’s the MP3 player he had in his hand, the buds in his ears.
While technology is cool, and it has made it possible for someone in the Szechuan province of China to control your house lights via the internet…
While it brings a wolf from Washington State into my life and turns him into my bro… Technology can also isolate us. Cut us off from shared human experience.
Well, in a way, the MP3 player cuts us off from the world.
You see, I’m a child of the 80s. I remember boom boxes. I remember walking down a street and discovering a new song because some cute guy was blaring it for all to hear. It started conversations, caused people to break out and dance, or at least tap their feet and bob their heads.
Without the boom box, Lloyd Dobler wouldn’t have had that magical moment… and Starrlight and I, along with millions of other girls and women wouldn’t have that sigh-worthy moment.
Don't get me wrong. I have an iPod and I love it. Easy access to music, random mixes that go from Van Morrison, to David Gray, to Led Zeppelin, to Peter Gabriel, to The Smiths, to Flogging Moly and so on...
Do you miss walking down a city street and hearing an eclectic mix of music not of your design? Do you miss having someone walk by with a boom box blaring and feeling the bass line vibrate in your chest? Do you miss having a song stick in your head until the next boombox feeds you?
I do. The boom box... it was like getting a mix tape.
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