Even great music can become noise.
Do you ever have those times when you feel like wringing someone’s neck out of pure annoyance? Well, believe it or not, despite my usually calm temperament, I’ve had those feelings plenty.
Whenever I’m on the 7 train going back home, I’m usually exhausted– tired from a long, stressful day at school. Sometimes, because of headaches, I don’t like listening to my ipod, not even when I could drown out the sounds of the train with my favorite bands and musicians (ie. Bright Eyes, City and Colour, Death Cab for Cutie, Laura Marling, Aloe Blacc, and Local Natives).
So imagine what thoughts are running through my head when I hear music blasting out of headphones. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love good music, I respect other people’s preferences in music, but in public spaces, when everyone is tired and getting home from school or work, the blaring sounds of music traveling BEYOND the listener’s headphone is just plain rude and inexcusable.
It might just be that the person doesn’t quite realize that his or her music is on so high, so sometimes, when I try to be more forgiving and rational, I do tap them on the shoulder and I ask them politely, “Would you mind lowering your music?” They usually comply, so just like that, the volume is lowered, and I can enjoy a more restful ride on the train.
But most times, I don’t say anything. You might ask me why I do this– why I choose to walk away so that my mood doesn’t become more foul– when I could just tap them on the shoulder and get it over with. My reason is simple. It’s common courtesy to check if your music is blasting out of your headphones, because I’m certain that you (and your beat up ears) can tell when the volume is way up there or higher than usual.
We have more than enough noise pollution in the world. Need we add more?