Do you ride public transportation and enjoy the opportunity it offers to read a book, newspaper, have a moment of thought or a cup of coffee whilst watching the world pass by through the window? This is one of many benefits I enjoy about public transportation, however, there is one relatively new social disease that appears to be running rampant on trains and buses that threatens this one little fleeting opportunity during the day to enjoy a bit of reasonable solace.
The disease, "IPOD-itis", is especially prevalent in people ages 18 to 30 and basically demonstrates symptoms of a self indulgent nature of an insatiable need to fill one's ear canals with some sort of sound---and never being able to go a moment without the device we call "ipods" dangling from their ears! The addiction is strong and the individuals who have the disease are so used to hearing some kind of sound that the moment the plug is pulled, they go through withdraw symptoms that seemingly have the sound of silence become intolerable.
Not only does the individual who engages in the ipod habit threaten their own hearing, the volume is often so loud that you can hear it from the other end of the bus or train, thus offending other people around the affected person. I try and be understanding to this sickness and think that just maybe, they are trying to cover up sounds they don't want to hear, and while this is understandable, I have to ask....What about the rest of us who are forced to hear what they are hearing? This is where I have to draw the line because the right to fill the ear canals with sound, stops at where my ears begin.
Oh, I must apologize for calling it "sound" or "noise" but the reality is that for those who did not ask to hear this "music", such really does become NOISE---and noise by definition is simply "unwanted sound" The need to have the device so loud in the first place is likely a testament of the fact that those infected with ipoditis, have already damaged their hearing, so the need to bump up the volume a few more notches is likely necessary. I better invest in the hearing aid market in the future because I'm sure to make a boat load of cash.
It would be nice if users of ipods on public transportation would exercise the common sense and courtesy to indulge in this activity at a level that respects others, but common sense is not so common anymore, and the more some people's ears are continually plugged up with acoustic sewage, the more numbed down their brains will become, and the number the mind, the less likely it is that these individuals will be able to exercise the critical thinking skills necessary to understand why it is inappropriate to force everyone else to engage in their addiction to ipods.
Is there a cure for ipoditis? Well, I guess the answer to that question depends on whether those infected with the disease will ever take the time to discover other things to get excited about in life. In the meanwhile, the disease seems to be getting worse---and is contagious as we witness the symptoms and continue to see ipods growing like cysts or tumors from the ears, necks and chests of the ill. I wonder in dollars and sense what kind of costs ipoditis will levy on society when we sire a growing generation of hearing impaired by the time one is 20! Hmmmm..... it does make one wonder.