Lately I've been lying to myslf about my reliance upon my smartphone. I tell myself that I could live without it if I had to ("I can quit whenever I want to!", heard that one before?), but I can't. Increasing my dependence upon my phone is that I have all my music and Pandora on it, and music listening is the backbone of my commute. So last week when I left my headphones at work my commute home was going to either suck horrendously or be a opportunity to showcase my newfound independence from my phone; and only time would tell which.
Well, time told me it sucked out loud. Here's why.
1. I JUST Bought a new Song
I had just bought this song and I was fully entrenched in I-will-listen-to-it-as-often-as-possible-and-dare-myself-to-get-sick-of-it mode. I'd listened to it only like 6 times at work and had already penciled in 4 or 5 consecutive listens on the train ride home. As with trying to quit any habit, it always seems like I picked a exceptionally bad day to start.
2. Now I get to Accidentally Hear Every Syllable Uttered by Everyone on the Train
When I hear people complain about overhearing foreign languages being spoken in their fair American city I think it's jingoistic, isolationist, and just really small-minded. Well, I did until now. If I can't listen to my headphones and I don't feel like reading (I read all day at work), I'm resigned to having to look out the window and eavesdrop. At least I can with English conversations, but with foreign languages there is no eavesdrop-upside. What hurts the most is that it seems like those foreign people are talking to eachother for their own benefit moreso than my own.
If I'd just have my headphones these people wouldn't strike me as so selfishly annoying...
3. Train Noise Aplenty
This will be lost on readers in cities where the public transportation was installed after 1947- but the trains are really damn loud. Creaking, screeching, clickity-clackity-ing metal-on-wood (like on the Mean Streak at Cedar Point), the sounds of the echoing engine in tunnels and passing by a train heading in the other direction all make for a loud commuting experience.
The train wouldn't be so damn loud if I could just listen to Wasted by Lil Wayne on full blast right now....
4. I Can't Even Totally Space Out
Zoning out at work is a luxury I cannot afford. So while I'm on the train I try to listen to music and let my mind just space out like Ralphie in A Christmas Story. Well it turns out that is much easier to do on trains with my headphones on. Who knew?
If I'd just had my headphones with me I could actually think the thoughts I want to think....
5.Street Accosters Know I can Hear Them
When the street accosters see you with earbuds in they don't accost you with the same zeal as they do your naked-earred pedestrian counterparts. When my earbuds are in I will see them looking at me and their lips are moving, then when their mouths rest I will say, "Sorry". As in, "Sorry, I couldn't hear you.". Without my headphones I actually had to formulate an answer for a street accoster, I think it was, "I do have a minute for the environment, but this isn't that minute.".
If I were wearing my headphones no one would bother me.....
6. Having to Hear Other People's Music, AKA Ghetto Spotify
I totally forgot about this unfortunate phenomenon. As humans we are programmed to think we're superior to all others in three realms: 1) driving ability, 2) prowess in the bedroom, and, 3) our taste in music. As someone with flawless taste in music, it truly galled me that some beatoff in boatshoes was listening to hard rock (they still make that?) on his morning commute. There is a time for Aerosmith and it's NOT my morning commute, 4 inches from my ear. It is the 1970's.
If I'd had my headphones in I'd have no idea this tool would be such a cultural infidel. Well, I mean his boatshoes gave it away too but the music removed all doubt.
Ignorance is bliss and headphones help make you ignorant of your surroundings. Therefore, headphones make your surroundings blissful.
Oh, and I can't quit whenever I want.
Filed under: CTA