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The increasing isolation of music technology, iPods, headphones and the like is the focus of on-going conversations with my teenage grandsons.

One of the most attractive aspects of music experience to me has always been its communal aspect. Music to me means sharing a concert surrounded by an appreciative audience, the careful selection of records/CDs to set the mood for a gathering of family and friends, or the happy feeling as we gather at the piano enjoying the old tunes that have such happy memories! Now it seems that everyone has headphones, listening to music in a solitary experience that deliberately tunes out others. Headphones and earpieces in place, I see the Walking Oblivious, in a self-centered cocoon of chosen sound that tunes out any interaction from the outside world, completely disconnected from each other. In the car, on the street, at the bank, there is no way to get their attention. Not heard and not wanted, I'm rebuffed from uttering a friendly 'hello', or making any small signs of friendly recognition, all the good manners and politeness that society used to value.