Headphones are a relationship killer.
It’s becoming more and more common lately – people wearing their headphones just about everywhere. In the line for the grocery store, walking down the street, waiting for class to start, sitting in a cafe – it seems like headphones have become the hottest new accessory.
Yesterday, I was sitting in the community laundry room, waiting for my laundry to finish, and there was another girl sitting next to me. She was also waiting, and in any other circumstance I might have said hello, maybe asked her what she was studying, but I wasn’t able to because she had her headphones in. She had completely shut me out.
I understand the draw. Sometimes you don’t want to talk to people. Maybe you had a bad day, you’ve got a headache, you don’t want to hear the people on the bus screaming – I get it. Sometimes you just don’t feel like being a social butterfly, but since when did shutting out the world become a routine? As if leaving the house without a pair of headphones is like leaving without your left shoe – unacceptable.
There are a lot of great things in the world and a lot of great people to meet, and my question is, aren’t you missing something if you are walking around with a pair of headphones plastered in your ears?
Technology is an amazing thing, but it also has the power to cripple us if we let it. I’m not saying that headphones are horrible and no one should ever wear them. Heck, I like to jam out while running or walking to class like any other person, but I also remind myself to recognize that by wearing headphones, I am putting up a wall between myself and the rest of the world.
There are things to be heard, and people to meet, and if you spend your whole life walking around with a pair of headphones plugged in your ears, there are things that you are going to miss.
Who knows what would have happened if that girl hadn’t been wearing headphones in the laundry room. What if she would have turned out to be in my class and, we would have become good friends? What if I ended up introducing her to her future partner? Or what if, for a few seconds, she connected with another human being, and walked away with a few minutes of socialization under her belt?
There is something to be said about moments and missed moments. All I am saying is, maybe the next time you reach for your headphones, you consider the message they send to the world.
To me, headphones say – stay away, I want to be alone, I don’t need you – and the worst part is, maybe you are only wearing headphones because you are alone and don’t want to face the silence. However, recognize that headphones can have consequences. They silence the world. They keep others out. They tell the world, I don’t want to talk to you.
And maybe that’s what you want, to be left alone, but all I am saying is that in a world of people who are increasingly becoming more distant from one another, maybe consider the implications of a pair of headphones – the message they send, the people they shut out, and the opportunities you might miss because of them.
Do you wear headphones when walking or waiting somewhere/doing errands?