I go to a big school; I see thousands of people a day, and the majority of those people are speed walking across campus to class. It seems that most, myself included, rarely acknowledge others. It sounds kind of rude, right? As the older generations strongly believe, kids are addicted to their phones, iPods, mp3s, etc. The fact that thousands of these aforementioned students have headphones in, listening to their favorite songs, doesn’t exactly deject the idea that the younger generations don’t know how to communicate. But something that a lot of people take for granted is the fact that being on phones, listening to music, and checking social media is a form of communication. It isn’t bad—it’s different.

I hate that some people consider having headphones in means you have poor communication skills. The best part of listening to music is that it is a FORM OF COMMUNICATION. Musicians, singers, and writers are all telling stories, spreading news, giving advice, and opening their hearts to anyone who will listen. Every singer in every genre has his or her own story, style, and purpose. Finding that purpose makes us good listeners. Listening is a key ingredient in communication, and what a person listens to often relates to their own personalities and experiences. Because of this, we have a better chance of relating to those around us and deciphering their personalities. Take advantage of music, guys.

Now I’ll be honest, there is definitely a time and place to be playing with your electronics and listening to your tunes. In class, during a meeting, or just talking to someone is no time to whip out your cell phone and scroll through your Twitter feed. THAT is rude—you become that person that people can’t stand talking to. If you are talking to someone, take your headphones out, put the phone away, and listen. It may not be the best conversation you’ve ever had, but at least you’ll understand what is happening rather than rocking out in your head or concerning yourself with the newest and ever classy Mizzou Passouts on Twitter.

Now I’m not saying I’m innocent of doing these things. If anything, I’m probably one of the worst. The thing is, I would rather have a real conversation face-to-face than a smiley face death match via text message because I can’t come up with anything clever. It’s on my agenda to focus more on the people around me, and not what song is on or who just liked my Facebook status.

Communication isn’t dead people. It’s different. Learn from others, share music, enjoy listening, and communicate in every way possible. Just be considerate, and don’t be that butt nugget we all secretly dislike with a passion.