A newly-identified phenomenon that’s common in everyday life, inattentional deafness occurs when your attention and focus are placed on a visual task, so you tune out the sounds around you. For example, you may be immersed in the latest must-read bestseller and miss the announcement for your bus or train stop. You could be fiddling with a new cell phone app while crossing the street and not hear an approaching car. You could be driving down the street and glancing at a hot chick in a skimpy outfit but fail to notice the beeping of a truck backing out of a driveway.
YOU THERE WITH YOUR EARBUDS, YES YOU, DUDE!
Do y’all realize that you’re making yourselves “deaf,” especially when constantly listening to music and such? No, I don’t mean the Grateful Dead syndrome, where your hearing is jacked later because you stood next to the speakers at every concert. I mean the fact that when you have those ‘buds in and you’re waltzing along cheerfully listening to Lady GaGa or whatever the hell it is these days, YOU ARE NOT HEARING THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
Let me say that again. YOU ARE NOT HEARING THE WORLD AROUND YOU ANY MORE THAN I AM.
But this is dangerous for you! You do not have the experience of navigating this world like I do! You are at risk of stepping off the curb in front of a car, of failing to notice the fire engine crossing the intersection in front of you, of failing to communicate with talking people all around you! You have not spent years dealing with this sort of thing like I have. It’s much more dangerous for you.
Please, please, please leave this sort of thing to deaf folks like me. We are the professionals here, not you. Take those ‘buds out.