I always see people on their phones at bus stops and have headphones/earbuds on. It seems like pepole switch off the physical word and in my mind I go, "people are in the collective" or "joining the matrix".
I think it's normal. In some cases it may be excessive. Like in my case I always have my ear buds in. Sometimes they're on sometimes they're not. Its good to catch the gossip in the break room at work without getting involved. I've had headphones for as long as I can remember. I had my first walkman at like age 6 or 7. If someone is just doing whatever what does it really matter? Though when interacting with another human I always make sure to pull them both out as I don't want to be rude or seem superficial. Other than that if you like your music Rock the fuck on.
Well it isn't silly but you are also correct. Once those things go in interacting with the outside world goes off. That's why I wear them on planes but I make a point not to walk around a city I'm visiting with them on for that reason. I want to hear the sounds and interact with people.
That combined with the screens, and less and less inter human interaction is certainly very troubling. Kids coming out of college can't make eye contact during interviews they have to be taught how.
When I go to class in the morning, I am quite tired and frankly want to lay in bed all day and slee in. Alas, I cannot do that because I like to actually pass my uni classses. So, as I go to class, I throw in some earbuds and listen to some music. This music keeps me awake and gives me enough motivation to get me to class and get through it.
Other benefits include having it loud enough where I can ignore all the college table people trying to promote their cause or yell "GIVE BLOOOD!!" in your face.
I'm used to it, and I see it as normal. I understand why people want to disconnect from the world and just get from point A to point B without interruption in their own little world.
I use earbuds and sunglasses to block out the spam of very day life. Not having to listen to propaganda that is forced into my ears by media outlets or stupid humans. I don't have to worry about someone I don't know trying to talk to me.
I wear sunglasses to avoid people making eye contact and assuming its an invitation to start a convo, and to alter the planned colors of all the ads that are meant to "entice me"... if you fuck with their system, they can't get to you.