Earbuds: More Than Just the Universal Symbol for “Don’t Talk to Me”


N. Visciano

Here’s a playlist composed of actual songs listened to by students:

Nicolette Visciano, Staff Writer

Down every hallway and around each corner, it is not unlikely to see your peers using earbuds along their four-minute journey between periods.  Some have just one earbud in, simultaneously chatting away to a friend, and others go the full length to completely tune everything else out by using both.  You might even be one of these people.  Seeing these students robotically trudge through the halls five days a week, I couldn’t help but wonder what they were listening to and why; after all, four minutes isn’t a significant amount of time so what’s the point?        

People who wear earbuds could be seen as antisocial, however, this may be a misconception since practically everyone interviewed was happy to share their thoughts.  As to why they wear them, answers ranged from helping them wake up in the mornings to the simple appreciation of music.  A popular answer among students was that music is a calming form of distraction which can be used as an escape to help them de-stress.  

The cause of one student’s use of earbuds stemmed from their annoyance at hearing people talk and another’s being that they “would rather listen to music than noise,” as stated by one junior.

Although there are some who listen to music frequently, regardless of why, most students feel compelled to reach for their earbuds in times when they’re walking all by their lonesome.  When consumed by a crowd, music can be used as a comforting reminder that you are never truly alone amongst these somewhat familiar faces to the eye, but essentially the faces of strangers.  However, you may not be as different from some of your peers as you may think, seeing that a lot of students had similar feelings about the power of a song’s beat and catchy lyrics.  

Personally, disconnecting my earbuds for a day and reaching out to peers from all grade levels helped me come to this realization, and maybe if we all unplug our earbuds once in awhile, we could realize this together.