There who are plugged in, the numbers are small

 

There
are many sides to look at when deciding whether or not music players such as
MP3s isolate their users and hamper social interaction. I could argue that when
I look around at who are plugged in, the numbers are small compared with the
number of teens who occasionally use music to connect into. I’ve been on the
bus, and it seems appropriate to tune out the surrounding jabber, and helps to
keep me from staring at a drooling passenger, or a disgruntled elderly person.
It does hamper social interaction, but that is the point. Teens all want to
make up their own minds about things, and if they choose to isolate, thats ok,
too.

 

Its
not a good idea to start limiting the times or situations when teens are
prohibited from choosing whether or not to plug in. They are not being
disruptive in this gesture, they seem courteous to me, and if I need more of
their attention I just ask for it, no problem. When it appears that they are
isolating as I talk to them and they don’t respond, its not them being rude,
they just don’t hear me. I learned this fact through trial and effort. I was at
the transit mall, and I was frantically trying to find out which bus would
connect me to my destination, and I asked 3 people, all whom were plugged into
their phones, or MP3s, and finally I stopped one of them and asked them a
direct question. This startled them as they unplugged their earbud, and
surprisingly their response was apologetic and helpful. They said, “I’m sorry,
I didn’t hear you.” This was it, I then realized tat being plugged in can
isolate the teen from the surroundings, but that is their choice. We all want
the freedom of choice, and you can’t make someone interested in a social
situation, and actually on the flip side being plugged in can aid in the
calming of nerves in new social situations. Personally, I work on my homework
much better when I am pegged into my favorite music. It relaxes me, and focuses
my mind on what I am working on. During walks, or working out on the Nautilus
machines at the gym, my Spotify app on my phone, some ear buds and being
plugged in, meant I would enjoy a much more focused and intense gym experience.

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Yes,
I would never wear my ear buds during a funeral sermon, or while consoling a
friend’s broken heart, but that’s my choice, and common sense. I would not plug
in while being robbed, threatened with my life, during natural catastrophes,
like earthquakes, flood or famine. I wouldn’t consider it, and to think that
critics are even out there judging teens and that their being plugged in ought
to be limited are forgetting that there are many adults texting while driving,
killing innocent pedestrians, other drivers unaware of the texting driver, and
this is a far graver issue than teens plugging into their MP3s. I’m not trying
to pass the buck by bring up the testing drivers, the harm this creates and the
subsequent slogan “Don’t Text and Drive, It Can Wait.” I just think that teens
are more aware of their world than critics give them credit for. Remember the
teen age years? Everyone remembers how important it was/is for teenagers to be
taken seriously, and to be granted the same freedom of choice their years and
level of experience can allow. The greatest gift someone can give me is to
extend faith in my ability to make the right choice, and to show and offer me
the respect I deserve as a young man to learn from my experiences. Limiting my
ability to plug into my music device so I can be more available in social
interactions is backwards thinking. Yes, plugging into MP3s can hamper social
interaction, and can be dangerous in a traffic cross-walk, but so does texting
while driving. We all know these things, but some of us keep doing it, and
taking measures to limit the use of MP3s during certain social situations only
gives rise to sneaky behavior, or secretive actions that cover up the hidden
usage. What needs to be promoted among teens during social interactions is to
take them/us as we are, ear buds and all, and if you want to connect with us,
take the time and ask us. Breathe, relax, we are all just people who can make
mistakes, and we ought to not trust in all appearances. What looks like a rude
teenager might be a happy teen who just can’t hear you. So, just be patient and
take the time to get their/our attention.