Of course, the most important invention of the past forty years is the Internet in its current form as a mobile Internet. The second most important invention is modern * headphones. You would have to get the Nobel Peace Prize if Greta were not the compelling choice.
Headphones are not a simple technology. They are a social, social and cultural miracle, more than that, a wonder world. In recent years, more and more new extensions of this world have pounced on us. Wireless headphones in acceptable quality, Noise Canceling, the beginning of merging with digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.
A few days ago, Apple patent for a gesture control of the headphones has become known. The constant contact with the skin in the ear will soon be exploited to raise health data. The body temperature can be measured very well in the ear anyway, the vein structure in the ear is as unique as the fingerprint and is therefore suitable for biometric identification, pulse and oxygen saturation of the blood can also be determined. In short: The true followers of the smartphone are headphones.
Carried in public and non-public transport
Still, the smartwatch seems to be the measure of things in so-called wearables, the technologies that are worn on the body. Yet. But wristwatches are children of the 20th century. It is far from certain that the smart version will also convince people for whom own special timing machine seems as obvious as a landline phone, a device that can be used to call a home. Headphones, on the other hand, have conquered the world long ago.
The greatest cultural achievement of the Generation Z may be the offensive attempt to save the climate, the greatest cultural achievement of the Millennials is the relentlessness with which they have forced headphones into the matter-of-factness of everyday life.
As early as 2016, an American study found impressive figures in this regard. Millennials use headphones four hours a day, 55 percent listen to music while working, a day without music estimated 62 percent worse than a day without human interaction, and almost 90 percent use headphones in public transport.
Wireless headphones have even conquered the non-public traffic, 17% of the surveyed owners of Apple's wireless headphones said in the summer of 2019, allegedly, they had worn their AirPods during sex. You can feel the scornful snort of those who remember their last, of course, headphone-less sex exactly. But it is a logical consequence of how such over-technologies as smartphones or just headphones function socially.
Are young people ruining their lives?
There is still a huge misunderstanding between the generations (less as a question of age, but rather as a question of attitude). Clearly recognizable from a recent study that said these young people are supposed to be online for fabulous nine hours and forty-two minutes today. Every day! For God's sake, say those who have been coined by analogy, brand-new worries are being prepared, addiction studies are being commissioned and a ministry is demanding against digital excesses. In our time, the youth read full-time Goethe and hummed in the bus of sure Bach cantatas, now smartphon her life broken.
Skeptically, however, claims the same investigation, the youth weekly 1.7 hours with so-called wearables online. Sorry? This refers to devices like the smartwatch, but what exactly does online mean? Is not such a device always online? Regardless of the definition, the problem becomes apparent.
Sometimes you just take them off
Such spectacular figures - almost ten hours a day! - are as informal as the duration, how long the baby boomers wear their wristwatches during the day. They show a false perspective on technology and everyday life. One understands a new emerging technology as a foreign body, which is put over the normal everyday life. From a personal point of view understandable, but future generations find their own normality. And in this new normal of the 21st century, we may be on the verge of a reversal: wearing headphones is the new normal state, and sometimes you just take them off.
Headphones are the 21st century world coping tool. They beam their heads to a place that is better than the regional express, and they serve as a general signal: "I do not want to be addressed." With the most natural digital communication, the sent voice messages, it even gets a social component.
More and more young people are wearing a wireless headset on one side as they walk through the streets together. Great! This is less socially invasive than constantly peeping at the smartphone, and at the same time, you can listen to the soundtrack of your life while talking to others or switch to a third-party situation.
But, but, but!
Digitization can be described as a history of individualization, and development is heading in this direction: the creation of one's own, digitally and individually controllable, transportable tonal space. Today's noise canceling is just a one-dimensional precursor. A number of startups and tech companies have long been researching and working to fine-tune which sounds are allowed through and which are not. For example, the way you set on the smartphone today that only certain callers are allowed through.
In the summer of 2019, a paper was published in the scientific journal "Nature", which illustrates the galloping successes of mind reading with the help of the measurement of brain electrical signals. The next evolutionary stage of the headphones may hear what is happening in the head.
One hears the analogous embossed circling. But, but, but ... if everybody always wears headphones - then no interaction is possible! Where is the direct conversation between the people! Such encapsulation of the world is somehow asocial! No. Asocial is the availability requirement, the yesterday-over-the-top view, all people in public should always be receptive. For unwanted insinuations, petty rebukes or the gracious assignment of wisdom about a long-gone world. Who wears headphones, does not launch aggressive wars; the evil of the world comes from people who do not wear headphones.
* Headphones were invented at the end of the 19th century. But here is the social phenomenon of ubiquitous, portable headphones meant that came up in the eighties with young people with the Walkman and matured only with the mp3 player to full bloom.