How much do you value solitude? I put a high price on solitude. It rejuvenates my mind and soul. Coming from a large household, private space was scarce in the home and life-related sounds from family activities threatened my peace. When I needed to think, I went outside. Nature provided the calm I needed to sort through my thoughts, especially after enduring personal conflicts at school.
Some people mistake loneliness for solitude which are two different states of mind. Loneliness is negative, representing a lack of connection with others. Solitude is a positive mindset that allows one time for self, a time for inner reflection of their soul and a method of listening to our deeper being. In short, It helps us form who we are. Is there any question to as to why Jesus did this often; to pray, sing (musical sound) or even dance?
As I mingle with the masses today, I observe people walking around with headphones or ear buds, cocooned within their invisible fences. Most look unperturbed, tranquil—as if they have found the secret to privatizing public space. At times, I can hear their upbeat music or feel sound pulsating the place around me. I am inspired. If headphones had existed when I was a child, I would have worn them quite often!
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.— Luke 5:16
A Matter of Choice
What types of situations lead you to use headphones or ear buds?
"I Am Here. I Am Separate."
Nathaniel Baldwin, the inventor of headphones for the U.S. Navy, believed headphones were an avenue to escape reality yet remain intact within the present time frame. His quote "I am here. I am separate" summed up his feelings well.
When I need space I listen to Chopin. His music soothes my spirit as I listen, shedding the day's irritants like peeling the bitter rind off an orange to eat the sweetness beneath. I go about my housework waltzing through the rooms while my husband peers at me from behind his wire-rimmed glasses. Although he finds it amusing, he realizes I need this therapy to regain harmony, to survive. You may know this to be true for yourself as well.
Headphones are a form of environmental control and music played through the wires temporarily shields us from the harshness of the here and now. As we meld with the melody, withdrawing from all conversations and noise, we are free from the onslaught of the forces of society that long to shape us into mindless androids.
Next time you find yourself among the general public, take a look around. How many earbuds do you see? Those who wear them are in their private place, separate from others yet very much among us. Hopefully, they are inspired and positively motivated by what they hear through those tubes.
The Heart of It All
Choice is the key factor. By choosing the music, you reclaim some of the world - it's no longer dominated by messages pointed at you.— Dr. Micheal Bull, reflecting upon the use of electronic devices.
Usage and Safety
According to Sharon Sandridge, PhD, Director of Clinical Services in Audiology at Cleveland Clinic, young people (teens are the highest users) as a general rule of thumb, should tune in with "eighty percent volume for a maximum of 90 minutes . . . . It really is an inverse relationship between how long and how loud. If you are listening for an amount of time longer than 90 minutes, volume should be reduced so that the longer you listen, the lower the volume.”
Some experts recommend listening at 60% volume for an hour and then taking a break for a long while. They also believe over-the-ear headphones give better sound quality leading to users listening with lower volume.
As a rule, use these devices where physical safety is not a concern, especially when walking or in traffic. Serious vehicle injuries, even death, have resulted from people listening to their device while wearing headphones. This is due to sensory deprivation where a person's ability to hear sound, such as a car horn, is blocked by the sound coming from their device. Keep an "ear" and eye open for obstacles and outside noise indicating a concern. Most important: Keep your volume down!
Hearing loss can result from using headphones at a high volume over time. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states Americans (15%) between the ages of twenty and sixty-nine demonstrate hearing loss possibly caused by exposure to loud noise at or above 85 decibels during leisure or work activities.
Lastly, referring to gaming activities where headphones are a must, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that can result in pulmonary embolism. In simpler terms, sitting for long periods of time causes blood clot formation in the legs. If these clots break loose, they travel through the bloodstream and may eventually block an artery.
Dr Michael Go, Assistant Professor, Vascular Surgery at Ohio State University, expects to see the number of DVT cases increase with the growing popularity of gaming activities. On average, the risk will be higher in gamers spending over 48 hours per week playing video games.
The term escapism is often viewed as a negative fallback of the mind, an avoidance of reality. However, it is a also a method providing reprieve for those needing to recharge. When you watch a movie, play games, listen to music (wear those headphones to boost your experience) or daydream you are participating in escapism. It allows you to take a moment for yourself, to clear your tangled thoughts and unwind.
Escapism is dangerous for those who use it as a way to avoid facing life's situations. If it causes you to lose connections with others, you may need to delve into why you desire to withdraw into your shield of silence.
Remember to set goals for participating in real-life experiences with others. Keep active socially. Your "me" time is necessary but getting out into the real world is essential. It keeps you human!
Combating Emotional Drama
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Dianna Mendez