It is easy, and therefore popular, to say that headphones make us anti-social. Wealth can buy — and modern technology can deliver — the independence that people have always sought. People have always had private thoughts. Headphones have the capacity to make our music like our thoughts. Something that nobody else can hear. Something we can choose to share.
Controlling our public environment is more important now that Americans have stopped moving away from density. Sunbelt suburbs today are languishing. Urban centers are thriving. “Today, the most valuable real estate lies in walkable urban Locations.” “With the urban space, the more it’s inhabited, the safer you feel,”
Personal music creates a shield both for listeners and for those walking around us. Headphones make their own rules of etiquette. We assume that people wearing them are busy or oblivious, so now people wear them to appear to be busy or oblivious — even without music. Wearing soundless headphones is now a common solution to productivity blocks. In a wreck of people and activity, two plastic pieces connected by a wire create an aura of privacy.
It’s not just that headphones carve privacy out of public spaces. It is also that music causes us to relax and reflect and pause. The outcome of relaxation, reflection, and pausing won’t be captured in minute-to-minute productivity metrics. In moments of extreme focus, our attention beams outward, toward the problem, rather than inward, toward the insights. “When our minds are at ease — when those alpha waves are rippling through the brain — were more likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward.
In a crowded world, real estate is the ultimate scarce resource, and a headphone is a small invisible fence around our minds — making space, creating separation, helping us listen to ourselves.
The usefulness of Headphones:
- Set Expectations That You Are Occupied – When you put your headphones on, you are setting an expectation that you are working or engrossed in deep thought. People will be less inclined to interrupt you when your headphones are on.
- Create Your Own Work Zone – If you work in a noisy or busy environment, putting your headphones on can be your ticket your own private “in the ZONE.” Tune into your music and turn off the office chaos soundtrack.
- Motivate Yourself – Music can be a great motivator. In addition to isolating you, your music can serve to pump up your energy and mood. Keep your inspirational music close at hand. What’s your power song?
- Prevent Distractions/Interruptions – When you are concentrating on a tough task, the last thing you need is to be distracted by the latest hallway chat about politics or sports scores. Let your music eliminate distractions and keep you on task.
- Choose Your Own Attitude – Whether your attitude needs a quick pick up, or even a few minutes of calm, let your music set your mood. A few minutes of peaceful music can be a great break from the hustle and bustle of the day.
Precaution in using headphones:
- Avoid using tiny headphones/earphones that directly go into the ear canals. Better those big headphones, the old ones which stay outside your ears.
- Avoid sharing your earphones/headphones with others.
- Make sure you change the sponge cover/ rubber cover of your headphones/earphones once a month. If your earphones/headphones don’t have sponge covers, make sure you sanitize them.
- Do not use earphones/headphones when you are traveling by car, train, metro or even walking.
- No loud music ever when you use earphones/headphones.