Back in the days when I was a teenager, I was addicted to music to an extent that I wouldn’t stay for an hour without it. Most of the times,you’d find me with my earphones, singing along not caring if the lyrics were right or whether the tune was right. I was always at loggerheads with my parents due to this tendency and they would berate me about this habit but all their words would fall on deaf ears. One day as I was walking home from my friend’s home,playing music at full volume from my earphones, I felt that something wasn’t going on well and looked back only to see a pick- up truck just a few inches behind me. Shocked, I quickly removed my earphones. “I’ve been hooting at you for a minute, what’s up?”. Embarrassed, I was unable to answer this but he saw them dangling from the neck part of my hood.” Kijana, izo vitu usipojichunga izo vitu zitakufanya uumie siku moja”. He went on to add that if he was the impatient type, he’d run me over.
This digital era has led to a sudden rise of earphones usage among many young people who use them majorly to listen to music. Earphones nowadays are very cheap and one can access them from anywhere; electronic shops,retail shops or even from hawkers, just to name a few places. Despite them being a cheap alternative to other audio output, most deliver high quality sound and the sound output can be only listened to by the person(s) wearing them, hence ‘privatizing’ what one is listening to, consequently avoiding being a nuisance to nearby people. However most people use them inappropriately in public, leading to unnecessary confusion.
Nowadays, its commonplace to find even tellers at banks wearing earphones while serving customers while annoyingly keeping on annoyingly pardoning them to repeat what they’ve been saying or even at dates,one person wearing them while it was supposed to be an interactive session. Using these gadgets in public is not only a sign of rudeness and snobbishness but also risky and can cause losses , for example, in a business setting, most customers will tend to avoid your premises if you are constantly using earphones since they’ll assume you’re always self-preoccupied and honestly you will not be able to create rapport with them since you want them to leave as soon as possible so that you can continue listening to your music..
Prolonged earphones might even damage one’s hearing ability. The negative effects of excessively using earphones can not and should never be underestimated, both internal and externally hence earphones should be used sparingly when a person is alone and likely to experience minimal interaction.
Writer is a Communications student at Rongo University in Migori County.