I am now prepared to announce that the iPod has finally arrived. Forget the advertisements, the magazine covers, the newspaper columns, the artist endorsements, the blogs…. Proof that the iPod has reached iconic status comes not from the media, but from my most reliable source.
Mom—a person who can be fairly described as being “well into her retirement years”—has, in the past, been polite about receiving copies of
my iPod book. (“Oh, look, this one has a blue cover! I’m so proud of you, dear.”) But her interest (outside of her son’s interest) in the iPod has been less than enthusiastic.
I type these words on a working vacation at Mom’s. On my arrival with family in tow, before I could drop the suitcases and issue the familial smooch, Mom asks, “Did you bring a the new iPod mini or one of those shuffles? It’s so cute! Do you think you could show me how to work it?”
As I recall, the last time my mother asked me to show her how to work something was when she broke down and bought a VCR in the mid-90s.
My mother’s acceptance of consumer technologies may mean little to you, but it speaks volumes to her son. The fact that Mom is not only aware of specific iPod models, but is now also interested in their operation (and, possibly, actually owning one) is proof positive that the iPod has gone way beyond the youth- and well-heeled-gadget-enthusiast demographic.
Creative and other companies can boast all they like about inroads they’ve made in the digital player market, but when my mother owns an iPod, it’s time for the competition to look into other, more exploitable, avenues of musical expression.