Take off the Headphones

I’ve been thinking about the contents of this post for months.  Yes, this is one of those posts that I was writing in my head long before I ever decided I was actually going to start a blog.  But even with months of wording going through my head, I’m probably going to sound like I’m all over the place.

It is what it is.

It should come as no surprise that I have a pet-peeve.  What may surprise you is that my pet-peeve is with headphones.  You know, those obnoxious little things (or sometimes gigantic ones) that people wear? Earbuds

I hate them.  Unless you’re sleeping in bed or in an office where what you do doesn’t matter to anyone, are they really really necessary?

Do you know how annoying it is to practically yell at someone and have them still not hear you or go, “Huh?” as they pull the earbud out???  I just want to take scissors to every pair of earbuds I see.  I hate them.  It’s not just because I can’t be heard when someone is wearing them, either.

Let me explain:

I like to go on walks and have even worked my way into jogging.  I still suck, but I enjoy the solitude and always feel better on a day where I’ve given myself a decent workout.  There is one thing that I’ve notice I do differently from all the other joggers and walkers in my area: no earbuds.

Remember?  I hate them.

There are a lot of reasons for not wanting them when I’m alone, but the most important one is my own safety.  Unless I have the headphones on so quietly I can’t hear what is playing, my own sense of sound is diminished and I am unable to hear what is going on around me.  Sometimes the sound of my own breathing  and my feet hitting the concrete is distracting enough.

If you recall, my last post mentioned how much I hate not having control over a situation.  Headphone would fall into this category.

Now, if I was Laura Taylor and could run a marathon in 3:10 then I probably wouldn’t mind quite so much because I could outrun anyone who tried to chase me. Dude, her fastest mile was mile 24!  WHO DOES THAT?!?!

Not me. I am not Laura Taylor.

Of course, people intending to do harm isn’t the only safety hazard.  To illustrate my point I’m going to share a story that I hope doesn’t offend any local readers.  Last week, on the day before Thanksgiving, the beloved school principal of the elementary school just kitty-corner to my home was killed by a vehicle.  If you want to read more, you can do so here.  She was walking with headphones and for reasons I’ll never understand, she jaywalked at a bend in the road.  It was not a “blind corner” but it was pretty close.  The driver, an 18 year old, will likely suffer mental distress for the rest of his life over the death his vehicle caused, through no fault of his own.

My point is that she was a “distracted walker”.  I can only assume that the principal of an elementary school, who is 60 years old, would never have stepped into that road without looking both ways and listening carefully if she hadn’t had at least part of her attention on whatever was playing on her listening device.

This isn’t the first story I’ve heard where a pedestrian was involved in an accident because of “distracted walking”.  This just happens to be the first one where texting does not appear to have been the distraction for either party.

So my advice is this:  If you are walking or jogging, leave the headphones home or, if you must, just put one in your ear and not both.  Not just for your own safety, but for those around you, too.  As awful as I feel for the students at Sander’s Corner and for the family who have lost a loved one, it is the teen who I grieve for the most.

So I’ll say it one last time:  I hate headhones.

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