When I am on the bus I listen to music. When I walk to class I listen to music. When I drive my car I listen to music. When I am working out I listen to music. It’s like second nature to me — I feel naked without my headphones or a stereo.
Music is an escape into a different world. It provides relief and allows our minds to wander away from the stresses we’re currently facing.
Take a second and look around you. I’m sure there are people outside walking around with headphones in. If you venture down to Meridian Mall you can spot kids with ear buds in, whether they are alone or with friends.
In this regard, music seems to have taken precedence over socializing. Friends and family used to spend time together talking, laughing and paying attention to one another, not walking side by side listening to music without speaking to each other.
It’s true there are valid reasons people have for listening to music. You have your well-known party music for a pick-me-up that usually involves Pitbull and Calvin Harris. There’s your rave music, like Skrillex and Flux Pavilion for people who don’t want to think too much about the lyrics — it truly is feel-good music. When you’re feeling down, do you scroll through your iPod to play Led Zeppelin or Adele?
But what makes us like music so much?
There have been multiple studies conducted to answer this question, and the conclusion is dopamine. When people listen to certain songs, artists or styles of music that trigger some sort of pleasure, our body releases dopamine which affects our brain and how we feel.
This explains the guy riding his Schwinn around campus rapping to Slim Shady and the girl running on the treadmill in IM West lip-syncing to Akon.
But why are so many people reliant on having music around 24/7 now no matter the circumstance?
It seems to me that music has become a drug we perhaps need to wean off a little.