I stopped buying earphones. Figured there was no need for me to spend a fortune on useless plugs that couldn’t last a month. We all have earphone stories. And they’re all the same.
You buy an earphone, take good care of it and in the third week, it stops working – one of the ear plugs that is – and when you’re playing all your favorite songs, you can’t really get to enjoy the whole experience; what with one ear taking in all of what noise you had decided to keep out. You obviously are forced to buy a new one. Your budget is obviously in line with the previous purchase but it turns otherwise when you get to the store.
Not only is it impossible to find the specific earphone you were after, but the available or ‘better’ ones are by no means within your cash bracket. Improved versions of your earphones will not only cost more but once you start using them, realize it was nothing but good money sent after bad and with every purchase made – in the end – it figures to be exactly that each and every time.
You might think you have struck gold with a particular set and two or three weeks later, it joins the previous occupant of the box of damaged goods. For this one, you didn’t even get to ever open the nicely packed spare pair of plugs gift to cushion your ears. The only other mistake you can make, is purchase a new one.
It’s always a heartbreak story. With everyone. At least eventually.
This prompted me to decide, I’d rather bob my head to the soundtrack of life, and smile to myself when the birds chirp in an even more beautiful fashion the next morning than send money down the drain by getting me one of these good for nothings insurmountable pleasures.
I think of earphones as things we get for ourselves for nothing yet something. I say get because they are freely given to us when we purchase a mobile phone. Any extra pleasure you attach from owning one in extension then, puts the costs of this squarely upon you. It ceases to be a token and becomes a need that is not really something you do but what you attach your own self importance to simply because it became something you waned and grew yourself into out of the convenience of it being saddled right next to the phone you bought. Nobody needs them. Nobody.
I have come to love the nature sounds that come with every day life and are pleasures you get once you free your self from these ear plugs that take us away in each passing minute from the very world we are a part of. Do you now get it, noise cancellation features? Tearing us away slowly from the very world it is supposed to mimic.
The abandonment of earphones has also become somewhat a form of protest against capitalism and its brainchild, consumerism. I refuse to buy something for a simple a reason as to bump to music whenever I’m in a place I need to escape mentally or whenever I am trynna watch something. If I am listening to music, I’ll put the speaker on. Music should be shared.
Music should not be enclosed within the precipice of ears when it could flow all around nature unbound and spread its magic to every thing around us.
Consumerism is the same concept that makes you buy a sweater that is two sizes small simply for its ‘beauty.’ So much taken are we by this hunger to own, that we end up owning what we should not. It is as if, nobody can have it at my expense. If I can have it, you cannot. Know why, cos I have money you don’t. Ne’er mind that it’ll sit in my closet or stay embalmed on my chair of abandoned pleasures forever. Perhaps, that is the great tragedy that is human existence.
Earphones are also a huge chatter breaker that can make you miss out on great stuff. It’s tough to talk with someone who has ears plugged to music. I know I know, you’re trynna avoid the selfsame chatter in the first place. Frankly, so am I. I hate conversing with people, but I love conversing with the pretty ‘uns. I can never turn down a chance to get with a human being, of the opposite gender, that has a soul beautiful as the stars. And with earphones on, I’ll be too focused on a Freddie Mercury vocal; a Vybz Kartel wordplay; or one of Rekles’ smart raps and miss out on her. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that lady.
The lack of earphones has also taught me a most excellent skill, listening. I don’t care to listen much, especially when it comes to my own opinions, I am at a point where I don’t want anyone to change my mind on most of the things I believe in. When there’s nothing but the voice of the other person next to you, you learn to hear the voice. You hear its passions, its anger, its pain, it talks to you. When there’s nothing but the voice of the stranger before you, you learn to listen to his/her body. It tells you what is true and what is not, of whatever they tell you and what they themselves have not, shared with anyone before. It all depends on whether you have earphones or not.
Matter of fact, I can now hear stuff coming from a mile away. I am more aware of my surroundings than before. You notice things more.
You could try it if you wanna. We are in the period of Lent, a time of giving. You could give back a piece of yourself back to you by flinging the earphones away. It doesn’t cost you much, matter of fact, it saves you everything.
It is also worthwhile to say while we are here, that if I see you walking with headphones on, I don’t know you. What do you think this is, 2004?