Thought Catalog

Dude Stops People Wearing Headphones To Ask What They're Listening To

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Upon seeing the title of this video I expected it to be some kind of lightly malicious, funny video in which passersby were somewhat harassed and annoyed by a juvenile sort of prank, but it actually turns out to be quite smile-inducing. It’s cute to see people grin sheepishly and ‘admit’ to what’s on their headphones, while others’ matter-of-fact reactions give an insight into their lives – who they really are and how they’re, at that moment, perceiving the world around them.

Music on headphones has the power to change monotonous daily walks home or to the grocery store into secret cinematic, meaningful adventures of which the listener is the only one aware. I’ve often thought about that with my headphones on – how a certain song can infuse so much meaning into a homeless person begging for change, the cars passing by, or a crowded downtown sidewalk, for example – but I’ve also thought it funny that no one has any idea about the world of meaning I’m currently swimming in. It’s sweet to be able to share that feeling, for once, by watching this video. TC mark

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More From Thought Catalog

Dude Stops People Wearing Headphones To Ask What They're Listening To is cataloged in , , , , , ,
  • Omar De Col

    that guy put his banana into his plastic bag

    • JacksonNieuwland

      saving it for later

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      it's a free country

  • Javannie Owen

    What a great idea, makes me miss NY even more. I wanna go home !!

    • Perfect Circles

      There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

      Nelson Mandela, 
      'A Long Walk to Freedom'

  • andrew

    I LOVE the woman at 2:43! She looks so happy!

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      she's on pain pills.

    • Carolyn DeCarlo

      me too! so cute!

  • Danielle

    this was so freaking cute! brandon, you're the best

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      this is Brandon commenting incognito

      • Danielle

        haha nope, just his biggest fan ya know

  • Duke Holland of Gishmale

    I never thought to ask.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      good thing you didn't, weirdo.

  • valentine_kitchenson

    That was a perfectly good banana…

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      That's what my tax accountant said.

  • Lebron james

    why put people in this video who didn't answer you? if they don't want to be in your video leave them out

    • danielle garza

      It was also interesting to see who didn't want to be filmed. Kinda added a little more humor in there, too.

      • Lebron james

        yeah you're right, people are obligated to be on camera without their permission because it makes youtube funnier. i know that's the culture and this example isn't a big deal but it's still annoying

      • Guest

        Get over it.

    • Jelly Roll Morton


  • amelia

    I really like this idea, but wish they'd spent 3-5 seconds more with each person to give a better sense of that music/place interaction.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      people have space issues.

  • adamhump

    like the video

    the other day I saw two people carrying on a conversation while listening to two different ipods… it seemed very futuristic, imagining them in two different and distinct emotional worlds, but communicating at the same time

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      I bet you made them uncomfortable.

  • Na

    This is cool. 

    You can also tell a lot about a person by their immediate reaction to being put on camera unexpectedly.

  • danielle garza

    Great video and article! So true. I wear my iPod everywhere and feel the exact same.

    • Jelly Roll Morton


  • Zachary Birney

    This stuff is so inspiring, great idea.

    • Jelly Roll Morton


  • Craig Randall

    I liked the very non-player looking kid, listening to Big Pun.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      that was my niece.

  • Diana Z.

    I always wonder about that when I'm on the bus! It's like everyone's in their own little world, it's nice that the video kind of takes them out of it.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      you're gushing.

  • Jocelyn

    but isn't it kind of sad that most of these people don't know what song they're listening to without checking their device?

    • greg


    • Buzzing sound


    • Jelly Roll Morton

      no. it's sad that you care.

  • tywo

    The man at 4:15 made my night!

  • brian burke

    this is so great, and only 100,000 views.  any bets on how high it will go?

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      super high, brian. super high.

  • monotonous

    How can a walk through Times Square be monotonous? If you keep your eyes open you'll see something brand new every day.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      What? Like an Applebee's?

  • Dan

    First off, I laughed when the Rasta-looking dude was listening to Bob Marley. I love it when stereotypes come true. And wow, only one person out of all those was listening to some form of metal (Korn, but they're not even that metal).

    • Jelly Roll Morton


      • inflammatorywrit

        Give it a rest, Jelly Roll!

    • Greg Petliski

      Thats cuz metal is for angry teenage and 20-something year old white kids.

  • Perfect Circles

    I'm going to start hanging out in Times Square until this guy asks me what I'm listening to or I get killed by a terrorist attack, whichever comes first.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      asking what you're listening to is an act of terrorism, IMHO

  • greg

    This was the shit

  • Crispin Best

    frick. feelin so nice right now.

    • Jelly Roll Morton


  • plaintiago

    Great video, it made me smile and understand how everyone uses music to turn their daily routine into a different situation.

  • padface

    I loved the girl who was embarrassed by listening to Kanye West.

  • Rebecca

    my website has been doing just the same since january:

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      I hope you're making money.

      • Rebecca Raia

        I am not, but it would be sweet! It takes so much of my time and effort, and as much as I looove doing it, it is a lot of work. It compensates though.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      I hope you're making money.

      • Jelly Roll Morton

        no I hope YOU'RE MAKING MONEY

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