The beat spits like fire into your bones. It booms and it bases and you rock your head back and forth, sway a little from side to side and regret that you are not somewhere that you can really get down and jam.
But where you are is on public transport. And whilst you are getting a personal concert in your ears, relating to that music that is pumping; feeling the lyrics, song, rhyme or tune like you never have before, other people are having an unwelcome intrusion into their ear canals.
When I was just a little…
Now I cannot claim that I have never done this. When I was young I would turn the music up to ear defying proportions and let the music exhale out of my earphones and into my ears. It wasn’t that I didn’t care for anyone else, but I was oblivious to the needs of other people.
However when I got older and I stated to get the peripheral sight of the wider world. I became aware and realised that my concert for one had in reality turned out to be a carriage wide emanation of, if I may say so myself, pretty awesome but not necessarily welcomed sound. I came to the conclusion that if I turned my music down, not only could I still enjoy my music, but I could do so without potentially damaging my eardrums.
So it is with great reluctance that when I see that it is the teenagers playing loud music, I remind myself that they just don’t know yet.
However it is not always the young people. My train has barely any teenagers on it, so can I point it with some confidence at the adults who are guilty of the same thing.
To them, I do not withhold my disappointment, general annoyance and many looks of disapproval.
And this is only amplified when someone has ‘Beats’ by apple (formerly by Dr Dre), the noise defying phenomena. When my brother got these and told me of their capabilities I was impressed. All other noise muted away as you are taken away by slick sounds of soothing melody. But wait… this is a self satisfying selfish solution, i.e. you no longer hear anything, but everyone else still hears everything.
What about the people who decide to speak on their phone: on loudspeaker. I have no issues with peoples speaking on the phone, it is fair enough. But come on, what is the need to have me listen to both sides of the conversation? I am not going to lie, I am nosey so I like hearing, but I feel that people should exercise some privacy. After all you’re not a celebrity, not everyone needs to know everything about you, and you are not in your house.
Or the people that come on the train and tell their life story. One man got on and by the time I got off I could have told you where he was born, his primary and secondary school, first job and the perils of his present job. And yes, I was an unwilling listener; I just wanted to read my book.
And what about the people that walk down the road with the music playing through their handset… I too would like music to announce my steps, but at some point it is prudent to realise that you are not on a tv show. You are not in a movie. No one needs to hear you coming with anything other than footsteps.
It all boils down to consideration. I know sometimes it’s not possible, but turning down your music; checking to see if people want to speak to you before you roll up with your life story; not having everyone hear both sides of a two way conversation, are not big things. They just courtesy, because we live in a world with other people, who willingly or not, have to share the same space with us.