By Annie Barrett
October 27, 2006 at 02:00 PM EDT

The iPod turned five this week. How did you celebrate? I offered mine a cupcake, and then ate it myself. We have an all-Annie-all-the-time understanding like that. (See below.)’s Michael Agger wrote an interesting article suggesting that maybe the “White Wonder” device (I prefer to call mine “Rock-Hard Drive”) hasn’t altered the cultural landscape as much as we Pod People may think. It’s a good read, and you’ll also want to check out the British guy who devoted a major part of a book to why his iPod can read his mind.

I particularly like the question of whether people use the iPod forenhancement or escape. The original marketers of Sony’s Walkman assumedthese were two separate camps. I’d argue that today more than ever, thetwo words mean the same thing, especially when they involve me makingthe world better by shutting the subway/possible conversation/annoyingpeople with backpacks out of my morning commute. Maybe it’s people likeme who are what’s wrong with America! We’re all solipsists who justwanna close our eyes and drift into the soothing, lonely realm ofOn-The-Go. But if that doesn’t define enhancement, what does?

Do you ever feel guilty about retreating into your very own iWorld,or do you consider the habit a necessity on the level of Internet pornor Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins?