The gramophone was a mistake

The gramophone was a mistake. Now, this is not meant to be taken TOO seriously, I listen to audio a lot, but it has led to a lot of under redressed problems that go hand in hand, spiraling downward making everything worse for everyone. And that is the war between small personal speakers (i.e. earbuds, headphones, etc) and loud, public speakers (for music, announcements, etc). One of them wants to get themselves heard, and the other wants to drown everything out. There are also a myriad other problems which I wish to address. I will write this as a list of problems as the flow between paragraphs would be hard to do otherwise, but I WOULD like to point out that this is not SEO spam and actual stuff not just another "Top 5 problems with X" that plays 2.5 million ads everywhere.

Now, I do feel the need to point out that I am actually in the top ~5% of Spotify listeners worldwide, BUT I do not really listen with earbuds or anything, and just use headphones similar to a normal computer speaker and NEVER in public

Also, I would like to point out I am cognizant of

Problem 1: People using it while at purposeful social stuff

Now, I get a little annoyed when friends do it, but they don’t make it obvious enough for me to get pretty mad, and I guess they like it, but it’s still a massive pet peeve of mine. These people will always keep their earbuds in even when in an active conversation, listening to music the whole time. I care a LOT about not necessarily respect, but in not being rude, and to me listening to something else, and by definition not paying attention to the other person is rude to them, its as if they’re talking to a wall, as you can’t really listen to anything with music, an attention demanding thing, also playing. I guess it’s just another part of the ever present atmosphere of everything trying to take in as much of our dwindling attention and time as possible.

Problem 2: Headphones in public

Look, I don’t really care that much whether or not someone has earbuds or something that doesn’t block out noise in public, but headphones, which dampen noise a lot, I do have a problem with. I see a lot of people out and about wearing them, and I know for a fact that while wearing them none of those people have good spatial awareness. You get to entranced in the music and too ignorant of what is happening inside, your mind kept in your head by the headphones to notice what’s going on around you and behind you. So I end up going to the park or something, and knowing that I’ve got to be cautious of these people, who just move willy nilly and could easily run into me, because they’re too ignorant of the outside. I especially find it annoying when I’m practicing running at a track, and when I practice at a track, I specifically choose a track because I’m running both short and fast, not long and relatively slower (which is when I’ll run just out and about). And when I’m at the track, another reason I choose it is for distances. At the track, I know I just ran EXACTLY 200 meters, but to do this I need to use the first lane. And I’ve noticed now that headphone wearing joggers, not even people really going fast, are drifting between turf and lanes, in a very unpredictable manner, and this absolutely ruins my times, slowing me down by up to 10 seconds (which in something that normally takes 30 is saying something). And then them doing this is downright dangerous! If I hit one, they or I could get pretty injured, as a 14 mile per hour collision is NOT a fun thing (speaking from experience), and if the other person isn’t sizeable, they tend to be the one falling to the ground (which once again speaking from experience isn’t fun).

Problem 3: How it’s affected PAs and music systems

This whole thing with personal speakers has absolutely screwed up public announcements and music. Whenever I try going to a restaurant now, it tends to be too loud to hear anything. And I’m not talking about restaurants designed for young people who want to be loud and party, but nice pretty fancy sit down restaurants, playing simple, classical or something music, but at 17 thousand ear shattering decibels, simply because they’re fighting the people wearing earbuds and stuff. And also public announcement systems (like on the train) getting louder to compete with headphones to get people’s attention. Because of this sort of stuff, my school upped its fire alarm sounds to the point that I gotta believe they’ve passed the pain threshold, because people after leaving the building have abject pain on their faces, clearly rearing from a massively loud noise. (I have no objective evidence for this though, just purely anecdotal)

This is liable to be made larger someday, I’m just brainfucked right now and have been for months This post is a member of the AgoraRoad Travelogue
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