Walk down the street, sit on a train, or fly on a plane, and what do you see? Most likely, many people with wires coming out of their ears. They’ve got earphones stuffed deep into their eardrums, drowning out the sounds of the world by blasting music directly into their brains.
I do this too. In fact I love listening to music while I’m on the go.
But I started thinking, what if we all spent a day without iPods or other music players crammed into our ears? What would happen?
Maybe instead of running away from our world by short-circuiting one of our senses, we could stop to appreciate it. Or at least acknowledge it.
We could all hear the sounds of the world around us for a change. We’d have a new appreciation for the people in our world. We could hear someone saying, “Excuse me” as they are trying to get by us. We might have a conversation with someone we wouldn’t normally talk to. We’d save our ears from a day’s worth of pounding, a day’s worth of hearing loss.
We would also hear a baby crying or a couple fighting. Sounds that might be considered unpleasant. We would learn to face this kind of reality even when we’re not used to doing so.
It can’t be that tough to deal with. After all, portable music was only invented recently. Somehow, we humans made it 200,000 years without portable music. Surely we could handle one more day without it.
Putting down our iPods for a day doesn’t mean we have to stop listening to music. We could listen to it on the stereo, or go to a concert. Listen to music in an open space, with other people, instead of closing ourselves off from the world.
And I’m not saying we should all toss out our earphones for good. On the contrary, a day without iPods will encourage us to appreciate even more the technology that we enjoy almost every other day.
Are you with me? Let’s do this for real.
I propose Wednesday, February 29th. On that day, everyone in the world who is interested in participating will go without using iPods (or other music players with earphones) for one day. From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep.
I picked that day for two reasons. One, I have a long train trip scheduled for that day. It’s sure to be a challenge for myself personally. Two, it’s February 29th, a leap year. There’s something symbolically interesting about making that the day without earphones.
If you’d like to participate, just don’t put earphones in your ears on that day. That’s it. If you want to help even more, you can share this blog post with your friends on Facebook or wherever.
Want to get an email reminder about No iPod Day? Enter your email below. I’ll only email you about No iPod Day. Promise.