Living without headphones for a whole week was honestly extremely tough. From lonely bus rides to boring meals, it seemed super strange not having something to entertain you or even have music in the background.
For a whole week, I had lost my headphones and had to survive living around them. However, without headphones, you can make some pretty interesting observations about the world around you. And, you realize how much you depend on technology.
Without headphones on, it is so easy to just tune out the world. For example, the bus rides around from campus to campus were familiar yet different. During bus rides, I oftentimes pull out my phone and pop in my headphones to tune out the world. It made bus rides more enjoyable or just killed time. However, without my headphones this past week, it really did feel like there was a part missing from each bus ride. It was extremely strange. And, as I looked at others on the bus ride, I noticed almost everyone had their headphones in and was staring at their phones. It was an odd and shocking observation to notice that there were so many people on buses so close but disconnected. Yet, everyone seemed to have the same mentality of personal space, individuality, and antisocial behavior.
Headphones act like some sort of security sometimes. When you aren't feeling up to talking to people, especially if you want some alone time or to not talk to a particular person, people just understand the message behind headphones. If you just point to your headphones, people understand to leave you alone because you aren't interested in talking. It seems like such an obvious sign. And, sometimes, even if I'm aren't listening to music, I just pop in my headphones to have some alone time. Yet, this whole week, when particular situations rose, and I did not have the security of headphones as people repellent, there were instances where I had to interact with others and oftentimes awkwardly. And, I definitely felt more anxiety without having headphones, as someone who experiences slight social anxiety.
Times that I really missed having headphones were when I really wanted to listen to songs. And, without headphones, the same chorus would repeat in my brain throughout the whole day unable to remember the exact lyrics. After listening to a throwback, Lorde's "Buzzcut Season," the same chorus and beat would repeat, and I would have no remedy to stop this. Usually, headphones would come in handy, and I could repeat the song and X amount of times I wanted to. However, without headphones, I either was consumed by the song or singing it constantly.
It was also quite the experience sometimes being brave enough to turn my phone on very low volume to just listen to movies, episodes or songs. And, as always, I am so grateful to my roommate for putting up with strange noises, sometimes in the really early morning or really late at night.
And, on those long bus rides, I began to stop being immersed in the music and hearing myself think... sometimes too alone in my thoughts. It was strange having the free time to actually think and reflect as this whole week was tiring with midterms and presentations. And, I just thought and thought, wondering when was the last time I wasn't staring at my phone for so long.