A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday about something that bothered him so I thought I’d share a few of my own thoughts on the subject. His post was about his opinion on the “fad of people popping in headphones the second they get up from their desk, in the elevator, etc.”
I read through the comments and made my own as well on the topic but here I want to fully invest in my opinion on the matter, so let’s go.
To start, I think that it has completely become the norm to pop in headphones at any random moment, be it walking to the bus station, heading to the break room or moving through the line in a grocery store. We all have our reasons. For some it is an easy distraction or a way to pass time and for others it is a way to let people know that you are not open to conversation without actually having to be a butt and say you are not open to conversation.
After reading the post my friend wrote as well as the comments that people made in response I became bothered by the fact that this “anti-social” act seems to offend or upset others. To me it seems silly that people are frustrated with their peers decision to abstain from socializing on their own time.
I personally am “that person”, the one who will put on headphones the moment I am on break because it’s my break and that’s the way I want to keep it. Is that wrong? No. Socializing is supposed to be a positive and fulfilling experience, in my opinion that means that all parties involved are there because they WANT to be.
I have more introvert qualities than extrovert. I can be social and the center of a conversation when I choose to be but most days I like to lay low. Why should I be looked at with annoyance because I don’t want to engage with my peers? I shouldn’t. No one should. Interaction for some takes more energy than can be imagined by those who are ‘social butterflies’.
Another issue I have with this whole topic is this; I have had days where I didn’t pop in headphones the instant I stepped away from my desk and hit the break room and still never wound up engaged in a scintillating conversation. Why do people think that the headphones in everyone’s ears are the real reason conversations aren’t happening? If someone wants to talk to you, it will happen. If not, it won’t happen…simple as that, headphones or not.
My main problem though is that it seems as if some people feel like they are entitled to a social interaction with their peers strictly because they are in the same place at the same time. No. It does not work that way. Social interaction is a two way street, there must be give and take. If my attention is not given then that means it is not your right to be offended if it does not become yours to take.
I’m going to stop myself now because I can feel this post is only going to get longer and longer with my thoughts when I’m really eager to know your opinion on this. Does it bother you when you see your co-workers/peers choose their headphones over chatting? Do you think it should matter to others if you slink off to the break room with your music as your lunch date? Are you someone who always slips headphones in when you have a spare moment or do you hate when you witness this action from your peers? If I’m not the only one with an opinion on this, let’s discuss!