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Headphones......and being insular. Then again, there is just being silent!

A piece "Headphones Everywhere" in The New Yorker queries what is happening to people who seem to be ever-increasingly wearing headphones as they go about their daily business.

"Anyone who has recently spent time in a public space—traversing the aisle of an airplane, say, lurching toward your seat adjacent to the toilet, trying to shift your backpack without thwapping a fellow traveller on the forehead—has likely noticed the sudden and extraordinary ubiquity of headphones. “Do people really like music this much?” I have wondered, incredulously, while tallying endless white earplugs. The outside world, once a shared auditory environment, has been effectively fractured. We now lilt about in our own bubbles of self-programmed sound."

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"Certainly, headphones are an obvious method of exercising autonomy, control—choosing what you’ll hear and when, rather than gamely enduring whatever the environment might inflict upon you. In that way, they are defensive; users insist upon privacy (you can’t hear what I hear, and I can’t hear you) in otherwise lawless and unpredictable spaces. Should we think of headphones, then, as just another emblem of catastrophic social decline, a tool that edges us even deeper into narcissism, solipsism, vast unsociability? Another signifier of that most plainly American ideology: independence at any cost?"

Then again, there is just being silent!    This piece, "Neuroscience Reveals the Nourishing Benefits That Silence Has on Your Brain" in INC explains...

"When's the last time you sat in total, utter silence? While it's not easy to find true peace and quiet, there's now evidence you may want to find more opportunities to embrace noiselessness throughout your day.

We already know too much noise is not a good thing for our brains or our bodies. Research has linked noise pollution to increased blood pressure, sleep loss, and heart disease. These results have led to even more research on the long-term effects of noise. Along the way, almost by accident, scientists who study noise are uncovering benefits of its absence.

A recent piece in Nautilus explores in detail the positive effects that silence can have on our brains. Journalist Daniel A. Gross elaborates on several studies in which researchers set out to study the effects of various types of noise--such as music, short bursts of sound, and white noise--only to discover the silence in between the sounds they were studying produced interesting results. Here are a few gems this body of research has revealed."



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