Thursday, November 1, 2007

Take my iPod, steal my heart

Love is a powerful emotion and apparently people love to steal iPods. The level of theft has increased to the point that the Urban Institute in Washington has dubbed it an “iCrime Wave”. In 2005, for the first time in 12 years, violent crime increased and the suggestion is that the iPod played a part. Portable, visible, desirable and everywhere. In the jargon of criminologists they are ‘crime-creating artifacts’ (the criminologists could sure do with some new language) just as expensive basketball shoes and jackets were in the 1980s and 1990s. Already, New York’s subway has put up signs to warn people to protect their iPods and remind them that those cool white earphones are a giveaway.

This iCrime Wave has got to be bad news for iPod owners, although perversely, there could be another side to this coin. We could use this high rate of theft as a kind of heuristic from the dark side. Another way to support the status of the iPod as a Lovemark! What do people want passionately enough to steal? A black mark for Lovemarks? I don’t think so. What we all love is the Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy that is at the heart of the iPod, and they can’t take that away from us.