Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Interesting phenomenon

I have been noticing something more and more lately. When I chaperoned the recent 8th grade trip to New York City, I observed that students in every pair of seats were sharing a single set of earbuds attached to one music or DVD player; one student was using the left one and one was using the right. I wondered how it sounded, since one student was listening to the right channel and one to the left. Was one hearing just the melody and one hearing just the bass line?

I also noticed this was not happening because every other student did not have some type of a device. Every student on the bus seemed to have a music player of some sort.

I would never think of sharing music this way. I guess this has become a common practice because, first, many of the popular audio players do not have a speaker, so the use of a headphone is the only way to listen to the music, and, second, the dramatic rise in the use of the earbud style of headphone lends itself well to this practice.

Interestingly enough, I noticed a few laptops at the local computer store that now have two audio-out jacks built-in. Well, at least if students are sharing a movie on this brand of computer, they will each have access to the full stereo experience via their own set of earbuds!

Have you noticed any other "interesting" cultural practices lately due to technology advances?

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