Can’t get you outta (or off of) my head
Fact: I live on an urban campus, and thus walk a lot. Fact: So do you. All of this constant walking has brought up a curious debate—to headphone or not to headphone?
Many a time have I had the conversation about the reasons for and against listening to music through headphones while strolling around, be it to class or wherever. I’m going to list reasons I’ve heard on either side, and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. My personal opinion varies from moment to moment.
- Sometimes there is an upbeat and catchy song stuck in your head that you just have to listen to.
- I often use songs to pace myself while I’m walking, or I’ll just start meandering around like I don’t have anywhere to be.
- If it’s cold outside or unpleasant in some way, I’ll use music to distract myself from my own misery.
- Time walking without music is time you could easily be listening to music and are choosing not to.
- Do I really always need to hear the sound of traffic? We know what it sounds like.
- Sometimes you need to get pumped up for class!
- If you have to be somewhere, you don’t have time to stop and chat anyway.
- Wearing headphones actively disengages you from your environment.
- Interactions with people aren’t as personal. You will smile and nod or wave, but you won’t go for a quick “Hey how’s it going?!”
- It can actually be dangerous when crossing the street.
- Sometimes you just need to breathe in the moment organically, and music from your headphones isn’t a natural part of the world around you.
- If there is a lot going on or you have a lot on your mind, music can just be overstimulating.
- You miss wonderful snippets of conversations between strangers saying weird things, for instance, “…that’s the last time I ever give anyone a foot-job!” (true story)
Katie Crane is a junior in SEAS who DID walk with headphones today because she was jamming to this.
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