Between the Ears“Our increased inability to listen to one another is a major contributor to the current global loneliness epidemic.”

Between the Ears“Our increased inability to listen to one another is a major contributor to the current global loneliness epidemic.”

  • Words Alice Vincent
  • Photograph Kelly Geddes

Last year, I bought some new headphones. Clever, sleek little white things that announced themselves with a reassuring chirrup. They transported me into a new wireless realm of sound after years of living without a means of listening to music—or anything, really—while on the move. In  London, where I live, I pass hundreds of strangers every day and nearly all of them are plugged into something. Now I am among them. 

It has never been easier to listen, and it has never been more difficult. We can have a friend on the phone while interacting with a salesclerk (although the etiquette on this remains dubious), and we have access to thousands of songs with a flick of the finger. We can find great speeches and inspiring performances from decades ago on YouTube, and hear the minutiae of ...

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