Friday, February 24, 2012

Bluetooth: The Not So Silent Killer of Conversation

I love my iPod. And I'm not using that term of endearment loosely. I literally treat it as if it were a newborn baby, with a head full of soft spots. I think it's the greatest invention since the wheel and sliced bread.

However, my father's opinion of the iPod is a bit different. It began when I received my first Walkman. What the honkey doody is a Walkman, you ask? 
You remember having to wind the cassette gears with your pinky finger and sweat collecting in the foam earpieces? Ah yes, the original iPod.

I got tired of my parents telling me to turn my music down, so once I owned a Walkman, I would just throw on my headphones, crank my music up and tune out the world. This became a major frustration for my parents when they wanted to get my attention to do daily chores, come eat dinner, stop giving them a headache from attempting the hit Mariah Carey's falsetto, etc.

According to my father, these bad boys ruined society. Alright, maybe he's not that pessimistic and maybe he owns an iPod himself, but he does have a valid point. As kids walk around campus to their next class (a perfect opportunity to meet complete strangers or start up a great conversation), everyone has white cords dangling from their ears, music blasting so loud that if a Jet Airliner landed directly behind them, they wouldn't have a clue. No eye contact is made, and it's as if people develop mute tongues until their personal mp3 device is powered down.

Hey man, we all need some time of reflection in my opinion. I can listen to music and get completely lost in the lyrics and it's the most fantastic euphoria.  But would it hurt to listen to the birds chirping, or the cars blaring on their horns to warn you that you're about to be transformed into a human pancake? 


My issue is with people who use their Bluetooth in public settings. It's one thing to be hands-free in a traffic jam. But when you're in a place where you could and should be having a conversation with the person that you're standing directly in front of, eyes fixed on their eyes, smiling, asking questions that the person could very well have an answer to, well... that's just cruel, unusual, and not to mention, extremely rude, in my opinion.

It's also very sneaky and awkward. Why does it seem like the person has every interest in how you're doing, but then they shake their head when you respond?

How am I doing? I'm very well today, how about you? Why are you shaking your head and looking confused that I'm doing well? Oh, you didn't want to know how my day was going? That's odd. Do you have Schizophrenia? Oh, your mom stopped by and did all 3 loads of your laundry? Well, I didn't really need to know that but thanks for sharing. My mom never does my laundry. Yea, I shake my head when I think about that too. I don't know your friend Cindy but I'm glad to hear her rash cleared up.

And then the person you were having an in-depth heart to heart with pulls back their hair, points to their ear, smiles, and continues on their merry way... leaving you feeling like a complete and total imbecile.


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