A New Epidemic

This post is a long time coming. Every day I see this. Maybe it’s just this tiny town of Rexburg, or maybe it’s not.

But at least here…there is a new epidemic.


It is not an exaggeration to say that more than half of the students that walk, or even drive (yes, I said drive) around town, especially campus, have secluded themselves from the rest of the world with headphones.


As an advocate for music, I can understand, but only to a certain extent. Music is a fantastic way to clear your mind, especially from the stress of a long school day. However, if you close yourself off to the hundreds of people and hundreds of potential interactions that you would encounter otherwise, you could be missing out.

Human interaction diminishes rapidly due to the increased number of people who chose to close themselves off in such a way. Even just passing by someone you don’t even know who says “Hi! How are you?” can have a real positive affect on your day. Suppose you’re having a bad day, so bad that you want to be away from it all. So you go for a walk with your headphones. Someone walks by, perhaps sensing your bad day, and tries to offer a cheerful “Hello” or compliment to put a smile on your face. But you don’t hear it. Now the sad thing is, not only do you continue to feel sad, now that person’s confidence diminishes slightly because you ignored them.

Do I think it is wrong to walk around with headphones in our ears? Absolutely not. Like I said, I am an advocate for music. In fact, I am listening to music as I write this! All I’m saying is cut back. Way back. The benefits are worth it. Take it from one who used to walk everywhere with headphones in his ears.

Benefit #1 – Human Interaction

We are all in this together. God did not put us on this earth to be completely independent of each other. Those times I’ve felt low and some random stranger was kind enough to say a simple “Hi” made a big difference. Seriously.

Benefit #2 – Save Your Ears

Go ahead and Google this – I dare you. Studies show that the more you listen to music in headphones, especially in-ear headphones, the more your hearing will decrease.

So unplug. See (and hear) what you’re missing out on. Take in your surroundings. Say “Hi” to strangers. You never know who might really need to hear it. Once upon a time, it was me.

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