Hearphones and Social Cues
How has wearing your Hearphones changed your social interactions?
I was never one to wear earbuds. I occasionally wore noise cancelling headphones in my home office to quiet the din from my tower computers. I never wore headphones in public except when using my noise cancelling headphones during air travel. Hearphones changed all that.
Quiet, Private Settings
I often use my Hearphones to listen to music or spoken word in quiet surroundings. I turn down WORLD volume to quiet the rumble of urban life. To have a quick conversation with someone important, I pull out my Hearphones to speak with them. Taking out the Hearphones is a social signal that I am giving that person my undivided attention. It's similar to closing the laptop and turning to face someone full-on. It's also simpler and faster than muting the source material and adjusting the WORLD volume. I don't want to give the impression that it's tedious to shift from my inner attention to focus on someone important.
This is new. I wear my Hearphones when I'm out in public most of the time. All of the important people in my life all know about my Hearphones. They understand that my Hearphones allow me to hear them in challenging situations. They know I'm wearing my Hearphones because I want to hear them. These people welcome my Hearphones even if they occasionally have to work harder to get my attention before we speak.
Have you changed your behaviours around others since getting your Hearphones?