The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday ran an article entitled, You show me your iPod, I’ll show you mine which makes the very bold statement that “if only you could see that playlist, you would know so much about him, about how compatible you are and gain insights that could otherwise take months of stalking to get.” It then goes on to say that the humble iPod or MP3 player “can reveal one’s past, personality and even whether they are ready for a relationship, or still getting over one.” Really??? Does what I like to listen to define who I am and broadcast to someone if I am worth starting a relationship with?
Here are ten songs selected at random off my iPod (love that shuffle function);
1. Mel & Kim – Respectable
2. E.S Posthumus – Nara (Cold Case Theme)
3. Missy Higgins – Any Day Now
4. Michelle Branch – It’s You
5. Rent – Seasons of Love
6. 5 Girls + Guitars – Here We Go Again
7. Alanis Morissette – The Couch
8. Jess McAvoy – The Fire
9. Europe – The Final Countdown
10. Billie Piper – Promises
Now let’s see what that reveals about me; Mel & Kim and Europe reveals that I am a child of the 80s, Jess McAvoy, Missy Higgins, 5 Girls + Guitars, Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette reveals that I have a strong liking for female singer songwriters, Cold Case Theme shows I like crime shows, Rent shows that I am musical theatre buff and Billie Piper means that either I like UK pop or that I am a Doctor Who fan.
Actually all of that is pretty accurate (except that bit about the UK pop), so maybe they have stumbled onto something here. Perhaps the music we do like to listen to can reveal some truths about us, but is it really a relationship starter or killer? Would you date someone purely on what they list on their iPod?
Dating sites would like you to believe that and even recommend that you do not put daggy songs on your favourites list if you want to score a date. Now the iPod has gone from your own personal radio station to a dating tool complete with a list of iPod dating dos and don’ts such as “don’t spy over someone’s shoulder at their playlist, don’t store an over-abundance of sad, daggy songs in your favourites, do give potential dates a chance to talk to you by taking out your earpieces, do look for familiar artists and common ground in a prospective date’s playlist”. There are actually people out there who make their dating decisions based on what is on someone’s playlist without ever actually speaking to that person. It is little wonder that teenagers and twenty somethings are downloading songs that are seen as popular rather than songs they actually like. Welcome to the herd mentality, where expressing individual opinions, likes and dislikes are frowned upon.
What someone listens to can provide a great icebreaker and can give you something to talk about to get to know them better, but seriously, it is not the be all and end all of a relationships. If it was I would have never dated Lelak – she likes bluegrass and the more banjo it contains the better whilst I run away from anything related to country to the safe confines of bad 80s music, musicals and acoustic rock with a little bit of pop thrown in. However over the years I have come to appreciate bluegrass and today I caught Lelak trying to find a recording of the musical ‘Wicked’. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.