Students Use Music to Increase Focus, But Does It Actually Help?

Every day, you can see people wearing headphones or earbuds, whether on the go or sitting in a classroom. As the popularity of headphones and earbuds in public settings has been rising, so have the concerns surrounding it.

In recent years, more headphone-related car accidents have occurred, and safety issues have been raised about wearing headphones in public. There are also health concerns about hearing loss for teenagers who wear headphones for too long.

Most students interviewed for this story claim they use music to help them focus, but more times the outcome is the opposite.

Jiayu L., a former WCI student who is attending the University of Waterloo, listens to music to reduce mental stress. Despite this role that music plays for her, she said, “Listening to music is really distracting – especially when you are immersed in the rhythm.” 

“Once I was walking with headphones on,” she shared, “and the track I was listening to made me so absorbed into the beat that I crashed into a tree even though I saw it in front of me.” 

Grade 12 student Camille L., listens to music when she is doing homework also thinks that listening to music makes people more disconnected to the world.  “Listening to music all the time means that you are cut off from the world around you,” said Camille. “It makes people indifferent to each other.” 

Grade 11 student Sihe L. who only listens to music only when doing school works and workouts gave a similar concern: “Listening to music isn’t for all occasions, many students listen to music when the teacher is having a lesson. This is very disrespectful to teachers, but many students don’t realize that.”

Ahmet H. also expressed concern about this habit, but from a different perspectives. He is in Grade 12 and is a fan of pop music. “Although it is good to listen to music when people are depressed, they shouldn’t listen to music all the time,” said Ahmet.

“Listening to music when working or studying can cause distractions and lower efficiency,” Ahmet shared.

With the development of technology, headphones are more accessible to most students. But the negative effects of overuse of headphones remain for listeners to come up with a common solution to solve.