Sunday, August 24, 2008

The iPod Olympics

The camera recording sports events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics often also captures another sight: athletes waiting to compete who are listening to their iPods. Considerable discussion about possible playlists has become a frequent feature of commentary in the blogosphere. A Google search leads spectators to speculation about what's inside the white box of Heather Mitts, Michael Phelps, and other gold-medal winners. In Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Mimi Ito points out that there is a social dimension to seemingly isolated activities that use ubiquitous technologies. Perhaps this is another case in which personal, portable, and pedestrian devices relate closely to public cultural imaginaries.

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