In years gone by, proper etiquette revolved around the positioning of dessert forks on a placemat, or whether or not to slurp your soup. The 21st century version of etiquette class? Listening to your iPod respectfully.
We’ve all felt second best to an iPod before. Maybe someone was unreasonably subjecting you to his pounding dusbstep playlist on an adjacent subway seat. Or perhaps someone in the office has been using her earbuds as a defense mechanism to avoid casual conversation. Whatever the case, inappropriate iPod use can be an annoyance.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the best iPod etiquette tips to spread the word about the best ways to politely enjoy music on-the-go. If everyone abided by this iPod etiquette regime, the world would be a more courteous place.
How to enjoy your iPod tactfully:
If someone needs to speak to you while you’re wearing your earbuds, remove both buds. Removing just one bud tells the world you’re only half-listening.
Keep it clean. iPods aren’t just for music. They’re great gadgets for viewing videos, too. Just check the periphery for little ones on a train, plane, or bus before you let any questionable images linger on the screen. Their parents will thank you.
Know your volume. A good way to check if your music is bleeding into the airspace of others is to remove your headphones and lightly cup them with your hand. If the music’s still audible, you should back off the volume.
Invest in high-quality headgear. Cheap headphones can be the worst culprits of leaking noise. If you can’t bring yourself to turn down the volume, invest in a high-quality pair of headphones. They won’t break as easily as a cheap pair, and they’ll keep the noise where you want it—inside your eardrums instead of other people’s.
Rock out—on your own time. If you’re in public, singing along or putting on a distracting dance performance will yield you more negative attention than positive.
Be mindful of where you are. Some places are just not iPod-approved: church, funerals, classrooms, doctors’ offices, meetings, and the car (unless you’re listening to your iPod through your stereo system) are included.
Be cool—communicate. If you’re an office iPod listener, tell your coworkers that you’re not trying to tune them out—you’re just trying to enjoy some music. This way, they won’t feel awkward about interrupting.
With iPod and technology etiquette, it all comes down to respect. Give people your full attention once the headphones are off, and they’ll be much more forgiving the next time they call your name and you’re too lost in the music to notice.
For those times when you do want to share your music with the world, the Rukus Solar Bluetooth sound system plays it for a much broader audience than even the loudest headphones can. Just make sure you exercise respect with your large-scale music listening, too!