Feeds

Should iPods carry health warnings?

10,000 songs in your pocket. 0 friends to share them with

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Competition An Australian head teacher has banned pupils from bringing their iPods into school, because they encourage social isolation. "People were not tuning into other people because they're tuned into themselves," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

As we noted this week, all kinds of fascinating social possibilities elude the iPodder. Music is a social activity, but the children are only responding to corporate advertising that encourages solipsism - "to shield ourselves," as Oscar Wilde put it, ironically, "from the sordid perils of actual existence".

But there are other solitary pleasures that are bad for us, and nanny governments rarely miss the opportunity to scold us about them.

The EU demands that cigarette manufacturers display excruciatingly personal warnings.

In Brazil, the consequences of smoking are dramatically illustrated, as we see here -

Warning: Fumar Causa Impotencia Sexual

But would this couple even have got as far as the boudoir, if they'd been iPod users? They'd have looked right past each other, and gone home to blog about their near miss, alone.

So we modestly propose that in the interests of consistency, anti-social technology such as the iPod should carry similar health warnings. Reg reader, artist and music activist Mark Splinter has risen to the challenge, with these fine examples.

Warning: iPodding seriously damages your chances of getting laid

Here's a gentler version of the same.

Warning: iPodding is boring for you and those around you

It may seem as if we're picking on Apple, but only because they're first into the breach,. Apple is simply pioneering this ugly trend of de-socializing music, and others are following suit. Apple has gradually disabling the sharing functions from its iTunes.

So the warning could be more specific -

Warning: Songs from iTunes are infected with DRM by major labels

Or personal -

Warning: Steve Jobs wants to be a rock star but is a total and utter geek

Harsh. But not entirely without foundation. We cite as evidence iTunes' "Party Shuffle" feature, a computer algorithm that Apple describes as "The ultimate DJ at any gathering." Oh yeah? Try it. Shuffle's juxtapositions are so clumsy that it will have cleared the room by the time it gets to Song #3. Clearly, the billionaire fruitarian must employ something, or someone, to retain his guests. Because it sure ain't his music.

Technology has been accepted when it helps us do what we already like doing. But technology companies are now determined not only betray their own consumers, but they also betray the potential of the technology for which we pay them. As ever, we're only one piece of paper away from a fix - a trusted, traditional solution - that keeps everyone happy.

Our thanks to Mark who concludes his batch of Health Warnings with this excellent suggestion.

Warning: For help giving up iPodding, call your local music teacher

Got more? Mark has donated the source for these graphics (available on request) - so a prize goes to the best health warnings you can come up with. Load your brushes and masking tools, music lovers. ®

Related stories

Australian school bans iPod
Apple de-socializes iTunes
iTunes store 'hole' open again

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.