Friday, May 01, 2009

Poetry Friday -- 21st Century Thinking

by Bill Holm

Earbud--a tiny marble sheathed in foam
to wear like an interior earring so you
can enjoy private noises wherever you go,
protected from any sudden silence.

(the rest of the poem is here)

This poem got me thinking about all of the 21st Century gadgets we can't live without, but which create barriers that separate us from other real, live human beings.

The round up this week is at Allegro.

(Photo credit: "Earbud love 2" by Dano)


  1. Anonymous8:31 AM

    This makes me smile, as my oldest son wears his earbuds almost constantly. It does make chores around the house more enjoyable! I'd love to listen to audiobooks with them but I don't know if I could stand them in my ears.

  2. Ummm--we would like to say hi to our neighbors, when we see them working in their yards, but they always seem to be plugged in...sad.

    We are putting off for as long as we can getting anything with headphones for our children.

  3. It's definitely something to ponder. I don't own any earbuds yet . . .

  4. I've been thinking alot how the Internet was suppose to be a vehicle to connect us more but how isolating it can be. Blogs for instances strike me as islands. There's connection to be enjoyed but you have to go to the individual. Very different from when online surfers met up at message boards. To me, message boards cultivated a kind of community that isn't quite replicated in the blogosphere. There is community, but it takes so much more effort hopping from one island to the next.

    Sorry for going off on a tangent. Like I said, the idea of connection and interaction has been on the brain.

  5. I know this might sound kind of cynical, but it immediately made me think of FEED!

    I wouldn't know how to work an iPod if someone threw one in my face. Or a text-y phone-y thingy.

  6. This post is coming from someone who is definitely not gadget-savvy, so take it with a grain of salt, and it's off topic (not about earbuds) -- but sometimes in the grocery story or out on the sidewalk, those gadgets actually make me raise my head and look at people, because so many people now sound like they are talking to themselves (in the past, we would have thought they were seriously deranged) when they are actually on a no-hands type cellphone, talking into a little microphone and asking someone at home, "So, do you want marinara sauce with three cheeses or do you want the kind that has porcini mushrooms...." I look up and notice them talking to themselves and think about them & feel some compassion & connection, compared to just keeping my head down and getting where I need to go or buying my groceries. Of course, the people doing the calling don't connect with me, but there's this little moment when I remember to look at the people around me and not just stay in my own little sealed off errand-running world.

    Like I said, I'm not a gadget person - I still can't even figure out a remote control for the TV, and I listen in awe as people rave about their iPhones, but I do feel these few odd moments when I think about people and their lives, who is at home waiting, what their day has been like. The reality is otherwise - the people who are shopping/walking/constantly connected electronically to someone else aren't even occupying the same space with me, mentally. My oldest son defines "cyberspace" as where you go when you're talking on a cellphone (which is why there are so many accidents when people use them as they drive.)

  7. What a great poem! I love my earbuds, but generally just one on my ear so I can hear what else is going on around me!

  8. I don't really like earbuds because I don't like how they feel. I usually prefer silence, although I do wonder what I'm missing.... Love that photo!

  9. hah--you wouldn't believe it, i just used the word earbud in my last post, and hadn't seen this first. funny the way things work :]

    i MUST show my kids this poem. the earbud is like an appendage at this point.

    nice to be here again, sorry to not have commented in so long.


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