Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The only place I use earbuds is at work. I do fairly isolated work in a cubicle and so i get to listen to the local NPR station or music all day, but I have to use earbuds so as not to disturb my neighbors.
I don't like them, really. I don't like the way they cut me off from all the other sounds around me. I often don't know someone is trying to talk to me on their first try. It works the other way around, too, when I try to talk to a coworker.
I especially don't like them outside of work. I've tried using them in public and I realize that they can be useful for people who tend to draw unwanted attention. I don't begrudge anyone their use of them, but I really prefer to hear what's going on around me. I like the random noises and snippets of conversation on the bus, while walking downtown. To have in earbuds while exploring the bayou is really missing the point, it seems to me. How can I listen for the unexpected that comes if I'm always programming my ears.
I'm grateful for the earbuds while I'm at work, but if I'm ever there alone, I take them out and play the music out loud and I can still hear what is going on around me (and there are still plenty of noises to hear at a university, even if you're the only one in your office).
There's so much sound in the world. Some of it is revelatory. I like to listen.