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They’re everywhere. Everyone has wires plugged into their ears where music blasts it’s way across the eardrums and into your brain, slowly stimulating and killing your being. Streetcars, buses, subways, streets are all packed with people walking around like drones paying close attention to what they’re hearing and ignoring everything else. In a world where only they exist, these drones walk along, nodding their heads, sometimes even whispering to themselves the words uttered in the ears by their masters. So many people and so many things are just ignored and simply blocked from their minds.

Music has always been a huge part of peoples lives and people listen to it for advice before they even hear their own parents out. Such is the influence of music on people; it changes their attitude, their beliefs and even their perspective on life. You begin to see life through the imaginative eyes of the musician, you start believing that their thoughts are your thoughts, that their ideas and philosophy are in line with yours, you identify with them and you feel at home. Rhyming sentences and a rhythmic beat touch a nerve in your heart and you feel at home with an idea or feeling that has become personal, giving meaning to an otherwise static feeling. People find salvation and inspiration in music but I say it destroys your ability to think correctly and develop an original character true to your core beliefs, whatever they may be. This is true especially if you rely on it as a crutch in your daily life, as do so many people.

The sounds that a person misses when he’s is travelling through the city with their ears plugged are many and each sound carries with itself something real and concrete. Whether it is the sound of a firetruck whizzing by or the sound of somebody’s steps as they step on the bus or a noisy store on the street, they are all real and need to be heard, accepted and thought about. It is sad that we are blocking out the sounds of the world from our lives in favor of something artificial and contrived.

For a week, and only a week, unplug your ears and open them up to the natural sound of the world. You will be glad you did. I’m speaking generally to those who make it a routine to plug their ears on a daily basis to go a week without it and listen to the sound of life. The human touch is missing from our lives as it is; we’re plugged in to an electronic device at all times. If it’s not the iPod, its television, if it’s not the television, it’s the computer, if it’s not the computer, it’s the cellphone. I too am guilty of spending excessive time with these devices but it needs to be said that something isn’t right.

  • homeanddry

    This is why I never wear sunglasses. If I squint, I squint. Big deal. But I always want to see the world as the world looks.

  • ed

    I see your point about the iPod causing an isolation. But I disagree on the music issue (that argument is an old East Asian one).

  • lyndon

    To that that music is *merely* artifical/contrived is to miss the fact that artifice of the higest order allows us to see truths we would otherwise miss in the workaday world you want us to pay more attention to.

    Like ed, I think, I’d go along with what you’re saying to a point, but I think others (myself included) would say the isolation of iPods/walkmans(walkmen?)/generic personal audio devices is their major benefit.

    Personal audio is a kind of refuge – and in the busy, bustling, sometimes frightening urban great outdoors, refuge can be a Godsend.