Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: 6 months without music: An accidental trial

Saturday, May 13, 2017

6 months without music: An accidental trial

 Since a young age I have been continuously connected to a portable music player. It started with my R2-D2 tape playing Walkman and now...I have a modern day mp3 playing Walkman. For a solid 16 years I have not been without music. Whether it's music playing at home on the background or walking to work with a portable mp3 player, I have not been without music in a long time.

 In the past 6 months a few things happened that created a situation that I never thought I'd find myself in. First was that depression was really getting to me. But the other, that absolutely exasperated the
depression, was my beloved Zune crapping out on me. A charge, reset and restart did nothing to get it working. I would turn on my player, start the music and as soon as I'd get comfortable it would shut off.

 I spent a while trying to get it to work, but finally realized I just had to get a new mp3 player. I turned to trusty Amazon to find a good mp3 player for a good price. I read reviews and ended up purchasing one that instantly started shutting off and acting up. It took a while before I found another player that got the job done. I ended up getting a Sony - Walkman NW-E393 4GB* MP3 Player.

Although this may sound like a non-important rant; I've really realized just how much music means to me. And even more so, the positive things it does for me mentally.

 Secretly and without realizing the connection I became more depressed without listening to music. I was more negative, less hopeful, and often felt like something was missing. My dreaming patterns changed; I would wake up in the morning with a song stuck in my head like a radio turned up at full volume against my ear. Even without playing music constantly like I used to it still was able to break through my consciousness. What do I mean by "no music"? I mean not listening to it at home or on the go. Remember, I used to listen to it CONSTANTLY. After I realized this I decided to see if other people have experienced this.  Turns out there's a LOT out there about it on the internet. From the article by: the world UNPLUGGED "Living in silence is depressing: Across the world, students reported that they depend on music to not only make their commutes to school and work more tolerable, but to regulate their moods."

Other great bits from the article (it's a great article please check it out!):
  • Music regulates students moods: Students across the world reported that they use music to stay happy as well as to relax. They dislike silence, and can even find it oppressive. (Click for further details.)
Vice even  had an article about going without in "Life Sans Music": "I would like to say that I learned something from this experience. But I didn’t. Maybe it made me realize that if I become deaf I will also become suicidal. That’s nice to know. Other than that, it was a really shitty experience and it turned me into an asshole."

"No Music Month" blog 'This is what it's like to go one month without music'. "Day 30: Tomorrow I will be better. I will listen to music again. I will listen to something special, meaningful. I will listen with my eyes closed. I will make hearing music important again."

 I also trolled numerous music boards of people discussing that very topic. "One week without music" and heard from pretty interesting thoughts. To summarize here were the ones that stood out:
"When I was in rehab, they didn't let us listen to music the whole month. I will never take advantage of music again.", "everytime my ipod breaks i go fucking insane. i fix it and i feel normal again. its crazy and i need to fix my ipod like right now.i cant stop thinking", "Music keeps me sane. I would die without it. Literally." and a great point "Music is everywhere, music is in everything."  

 The consensus I quickly found was going without music was an unpleasant experience...for most. Some enjoyed being able to hear the birds and the noises that life provides. That's understandable and a good reminder. Most people not only didn't like it but say they'd never do it again. Wow. I can honestly say that's also how I feel. The odd thing about my situation is I didn't mean for it to just did. Life's situations made this so, and I began to sink unknowingly into sadness. 

 Once things changed (or returned to normal) I noticed a positive transformation in myself. The main thing I've learned is music is great at helping me manage stress. Putting on headphones and playing some tracks becomes a cathartic moment, a lot like much needed rest or sustenance. Not only that but I've remembered how to include it more into my life. for one, I've remembered to use my record player and play my sizable collection of vinyl records. If you love music, keep it playing. Don't bother going without something you love. 

Check out my blog about the different ways I would play my music: Finding Music

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