Headphones, headphones, everywhere headphones. It has become common practice and parlance to allow a moment for the person with whom you are talking to remove them before the actual conversation begins. This is true if it is just two people passing on the street, or someone approaching the clerk with items to purchase. Often, the removal process only involves one ear and the music doesnâ€™t stop for a minute (Iâ€™m not even going to get started on the notion of wearing them to the dinner table, in the family room with other family members present or when driving around as a family, all of which I find to be loathsome activities).
I have an iPod too, and I enjoy listening to it, but there is a time and a place for everything. For the same reason I donâ€™t talk on my phone when I check out at stores, I do not have my iPod plugged in and playing at those times either.
Itâ€™s not just the Pâ€™s and Qâ€™s Iâ€™m worried about either. I think people are missing much of what goes on about them in life. A big part of learning and growing comes from experience. From observing what is going on around you, how other people deal with issues that you are not dealing with yet, but may be in the future.
Not just people related to you, but complete stranger help shape our societal interactions. When that interaction and observation is gone, so are the lessons that go with them. Further, its not just seeing how people handle things so that you can handle similar situations when you get older that is lost. Observations also teach us what not to do. Many is the time I came home and asked my mom or dad why someone would do a certain thing, only to find out that one shouldnâ€™t do that thing, and why.
I couldnâ€™t hope to count how many conversations were started at my house with words like â€œI overheard this on the way homeâ€ (or while at the mall, or whatever). Now, what kids (and adults) are hearing are their favorite songs, or books, or podcasts. All of which is fine and good. But, I just fear what we, as a society, are missing in the process.