Do digital distractions impact your ability to focus on and enjoy music?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by New Reformation, May 20, 2017.

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Do digital distractions impact your ability to focus on and enjoy music?

  1. Digital distractions don't impact my ability to focus/enjoy at all!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I find that I can enjoy music & focus better if my listening environment is free from distractions.

    12 vote(s)
    92.3%
  3. Constant connection may have a price, but it doesn't bother me enough to change my setup.

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  4. Time for grandpa to get off the internet!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. New Reformation

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    There is much to be said about living in the digital age. I am a fairly young man who has lived in the presence of computers for effectively all of my life. Nevertheless, as great as being constantly connected can be, I am becoming increasingly aware of how unending exposure to social media, endless online resources and countless modes of electronic entertainment cheapens my ability to focus on and enjoy music and literature. After selling a lot of gear off last year, I'm about to start building a new system that doesn't require the involvement of a laptop or mobile source. I'm not opposed to the use of a digital source, such as a Raspberry Pi, but simply put off of using gear that threatens to detract from focus/enjoyment by contaminating my listening space with all manner of distractions. What's SBAF's take?


    Do digital distractions impact your ability to focus on and enjoy music (and literature, if you like to read while listening)?


    Addendum: I'm not attempting to invalidate the use of audio gear for gaming, working, or unfocused internet time, but merely providing a reflection on how insulating your listening area from distractions might improve your concentration and enjoyment.
     
  2. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    I don't really understand your question, as you mention distractions but go on to list activities that require your attention and thus would make music the distraction, not the other way around.

    There are two types of listeners: background listeners and critical listeners. If you are engaging in some activity that requires concentration such as reading a book or playing a game it is impossible to listen critically at the same time. It seems most people most of the time fit into the first category, whether they are listening through headphones or "music-in-a-room" type speaker setups that are largely unconcerned with positioning or placement.

    So to answer your question in bold, yes, distractions of any nature detract from your ability to focus on music but they don't necessarily impede enjoyment of it. You can't really compare enjoyment of background listening versus critical listening because they are two separate activities IMO. Via background listening it is difficult to glean more than surface level appreciation for any musical work and likewise more than a surface level understanding of the qualities of any particular piece of audio equipment, if that's your goal.

    An argument can be made that moving listening setups away from the distractions you mentioned will lead to a greater degree of engagement, but I would likewise argue that if you feel the need to partake in these other activities while listening then your setup lacks engagement in the first place.
     
  3. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I shut off my phone when I listen to music (it drives my wife nuts). For me, there's no such thing as background music. When the music is playing, I'm engaged.
     
  4. New Reformation

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    I agree to the idea of passive and active listening, however I would contend that reading constitutes a different category of activity when compared to gaming. Reading engages the brain very differently than gaming and while I can easily mark my place on a page to enjoy a favorite song, I am much less likely to stop a game, close the in-game chat down and focus intently on the music.

    I'm not discounting listening sessions that are solely focused on the music, in fact I REALLY enjoy when I can set aside time to fit them in! However, for the topic at hand, I would argue that analog interaction (Ie. reading a physical book) is a separate issue for contemplation when compared to the distractive powers of the digital domain.
     
  5. Yeskey

    Yeskey Friend

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    I like to doodle when I listen critically, but otherwise, I set the phone to silent, turn the computer screen and all of the lights off, and drop the needle.
     
  6. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    I too like the feeling of pencil on paper when I'm listening critically, I have a little yellow note pad I use,
     
  7. NightFlight

    NightFlight New

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    I think laying down in a dark room for headphones is best. With my eyes closed my mind tries to make visual sense of it; while I daydream and the show is awesome. I've been critically listening since around age 8-9 this way. My eyes close and I shut down.

    Other times when I'm mowing the lawn and stuff I can "wake up" and find I've been standing there motionless for the last couple minutes. Oops.
     

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