Torbjorn Zetterlund

Fri 13 2009

Mp3-players make us egoistical and anti-social

by bernt & torsten

We need to let go of our headsets once in a while. If we do not, we will become anti-social and disappear into an egoistic world. Everywhere you go in the city, you see people with headsets going to their destination. With the latest hit song pumping into their ears, the time is spent without any contact with the outside world. Will this mp3 player invasion lead to us to lose what interaction we have with other people?

I have to admit I do not leave home without my mp3 player in my pocket. When I step on the subway in the morning, I have my music playing and I often do not pay attention to the other travelers. When I was paying for my groceries at Loblaws, I almost sang out loud to “Rehab” (A catchy song by UK star Amy Winehouse) without looking at the cashier. I am not alone in doing this, almost everyone aged 15 – 50 were holding their mp3-players and swinging gently as if they were at the actual concert.

Even if a lot of people are doing this, it is still a rude gesture against people that you interact with on a daily basis; it is as rude as smoking in a restaurant. I do not think that it\’s my imagination, but I think that music creates artificial self-confidence. The body relaxes and you feel at home in any environment you are in. Of course, this is not an excuse, but it could be an explanation of why so many of us have become music dependent. Our daily life looks almost like an artificial society. where a bubble is floating above each of our heads with little information about name, age, interests, and today’s song list.

People walk by each other without paying attention to anything.  It becomes like walking with tunnel vision in a world where my music and I exist; a totally egoistic world. Think about how much we are missing. At the same time, we do not spare any energy or complain that no one is flirting with us, or that we feel invisible and no one pays attention to us, but the fact is it is our own fault. We become blind and deaf because of all the bass.

The normal communication between people is erased by the advantage of the music\’s loud noise. The only place was interaction become a reality in the bar or places where music is not allowed. At that time we fall back to our old pattern where self-confidence is not as pleasant anymore and we\’d rather hurry back to the safe environment where we are the star of our own movie.

This behavior has gotten serious penalties. Many times it has been written in the papers that someone has been hit by a car because the mp3-player noise level was higher than the car’s motor noise. This should be a wakeup call but instead, people continue to download new songs to their beloved mp3-player. We have to let go of our headsets once in a while. If we do not distance ourselves from the music, we will become anti-social and disappear into an egoistic world forever. Press STOP before it is too late.