Success of iPod/mobile devices has to do with proxemics?

“…Researchers explain the success of the iPod with peoples’ need to create exclusive private comfort zones in public space. This sounds plausible, and in fact, I wonder what percentage of music player, game console, PDA, and cell phone sales can be attributed to consumers’ quest for overcoming unwelcome intimacy. As people typically avoid eye-contact in elevators, subway trains, and in other forced pseudo-intimate social situations, they find devices desirable that distract them from paying “social attention capital.”

This is especially true for highly stressful situations such as waiting in public, when the whole room seems to stare at you, pitying you for being alone and having no reason to be there in the first place. In fact, I sometimes play with my BlackBerry although I don’t expect any e-mail, and I write meaningless text messages on my cell phone – just to demarcate my comfort zone and appear busy while waiting. A friend of mine once told me that eating alone in a restaurant was initially so humiliating that she took it on as a trial of courage before it eventually became the proud badge for a stronger public self. ”

via Design Taxi

me: It is an irony that because of trying to be in a world to avoid eye- contact with strangers in the public may lead being inconsiderate in the public, thus, invading other people’s personal space.
I don’t know. We are creating a cycle here to distract ourselves from the people around us and be in our own world even when we are outside. Is this the reason why everyone has become individualistic and self-centered?

There is also a difference between the older and younger generation in Singapore. Older generation needs lesser personal space than the younger generation. So did the rise of technology and western culture influence the younger generation? Is the difference in personal space between generation a protest against the overpopulated city?

Even within a circle of friends, you tend to fiddle with your phone and act busy just to fill up that white space between two or more people because of that awkwardness during that moment when you do not know how or what to talk about.
Have we already learnt the way to create a personal space using the virtual world?
Even so, research have also show that personal space is so closely related to us that we bring these behaviour to the virtual world as well.


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