I’m taking a break from using headphones. Headphone fasting. 🎧⛔
Sometimes I see people in public with big over-ear or on-ear headphones resting around their necks. They make me cringe. Worse still are those walking around outside wearing their headphones over ears, blocking out the world. Just… ew! Earbuds may be forgivable, I’m sure there are reasons to have a single ear-bud in. But full headphones? No! Stop being so embarassing! 😠
Headphones are at their worst in public. I’m not a public headphonist, but this is a good way of building an image of the deeper issues with headphones.
Here is a quick list of reasons why outdoor headphoning is bad:
- It puts up a visible wall between you and your fellow man. One cannot throw a friendly ‘Good morning!’ to someone in passing who is making it as obvious as possible that they aren’t listening.
- It paints you as an enslaved addict who cannot go more than a few minutes without cons00ming digital media.
- I’m pretty sure half of the people who wear the headphones on their shoulders are just showing off their expensive branded gadgets. You don’t want to risk being mistaken for one of them.
- It insulates you from reality. You can’t hear and appreciate the beauty in your surroundings.
Headphone life is pod-life. 🦗😋
Having observed the ugliness of headphones in public, I’ve become more aware of the ugliness of my own private headphone usage. Or maybe I was already aware of it but just needed the outdoor examples to make a fleshed out article. Perhaps my earlier points were mere projections. I don’t think they were but… maybe! 🤷
I’ve been listening to music compulsively or out of habit. I ocassionally remember a song that I ‘need’ to listen to, but it rarely feels as good as I hope, so I switch between songs aimlessly. On a small scale, I am an addicted cons00mer too. Listening to music in this way stops me from hearing my own thoughts. My brain has been churning over circular frustrated thoughts for a while, perhaps because I’ve not been giving it enough quiet space when alone. This is not a headphone-unique issue, but certainly headphones contribute to this. When you know that nobody else will hear what you play, the choice of music can become pretty mindless. Oh, and wearing headphones but hearing nothing is just a gross feeling, I become too aware of the plastic encasing my organs, I feel I have to fill the space with something.
These compulsive feelings are slave-like and embarassing to admit to. But I must confess to them to hopefully overcome them.
I need to rediscover the beauty of silence - natural healthy silence, not the unnatural sonic vacuum found in inactive headphones. Outdoors I appreciate it, but I must be thankful for indoor silence too. In this silence I can appreciate my own rhythms as I type, as I breathe in and out and as I turn book pages. Rhythm is what I require, not necessarily the music carrying it, and the musical species has been desensitising me to the subtler non-musical varieties.
Oh dear, my writing has turned all flowery. I’ll be back on the headphones in a few weeks perhaps, once I’m confident I’ve broken free. I will use them if I need to like edit or produce audio, but that’s it. And I’m not doing much of that.
Whenever you wear headphones unneccesarily, this is literally you. You absolutely 100% scientifically turn into an LGBTQ-Twitter picrew avatar:
So stop it.