Having been popular for detailed quality listening and rich audio experience, headphones have evolved to be handy entertainers complimenting the mobile phones. So addictive these are, we seldom see college and school-goers, travellers without them. What comes with everything as a bonus is the unobvious flip side of it. Now that they have started to rule the privacy of young minds, it is unsure whether people are really so engrossed in their distressed thoughts or they would want to shut themselves out from the world. I would like to share two incidents which eludes me from justifying the use of the headphones.
One fine weekend morning, I had set out for a small shopping ride on the bike with my wife and three –year-old son. As we approached a narrow street, there was this young lady, with her head covered in scarf, walking ahead of us. She was walking in the middle of the road, that I had to honk, rather gently though. Seeming to have awakened yet from the morning slumber, she continued her course. I felt as though a speed breaker stood up tall in front of us and started walking. I had to honk over again, as I have started to lose balance. With limited possibility to overtake due to the oncoming vehicle, I had somehow, staggeringly managed to get past her. Wondering if she could have been hearing impaired and with due caution, neither to hurt her by colliding nor by verbal argument, we looked back at her, perspiring.
Goodness me! Much to our surprise, she had sunk in her own world of music, thanks to those Headphones, which had completely ostracised her from the environment. Not alone had she caused inconvenience to us, but was about to have hurt herself. We could still see a lot of such people, riding with their headphones on, not paying attention to the sound of traffic around. Quite some food for thought!
Yet another incident wherein, I used to see a ‘so-called’ fitness freak who used to visit the same gym sporadically, where I go to. So cautious he is! That he never misses to wear his gears on. However, the only gears were his headphones, after all. The users of any gym were to share equipment with one another and take turns to work out, one at a time. Therefore, one could not have the luxury of a whale of time at the equipment. Now, our hero would come over, take his own sweet time of enjoying and fiddling his music player during his workout, without even the slightest remorse of overusing the gym, as well as the others’ time. And talking to him wouldn’t be easy, as he would dwell in his shell all the time. Come on! Why use gym for solitude and private pleasure of listening to music? Yes, of course, one can enjoy working out to the music beat, but, does it even make sense when there are huge speakers blaring already and you would cut it off by listening to your favorite play list over the headphones? At higher volume levels to overwhelm the external noise? I would just ask them: “Who else would listen to the rhythm of your body, if you don’t?”It is us, who need to be sensible in using them appropriately.
Now, as it can be seen, the flipside is not with the technology, but with the abuse and incongruous usage of it!