It was some years ago, when I realized a profound thing.
From the first waking moment until I fell asleep I was enveloped inside an auditory cocoon, that drowned out my thoughts. It was at this moment that I realized that it had been quite some time when I last had some time for myself, to really reflect on my life.
Before that moment I was either listening to music or to podcasts. Never went out of the house without earbuds. In the bus, the train, while walking the dog or through the city. I was not listening to the birds or hearing the chatter of the people around me.
While music had the effect of either uplifting my mood or enforcing melancholy, podcasts(some of them) had the added benefit of expanding my knowledge in a passive and entertaining way.
Because of this passivity, my thoughts never mattered on the topic that I was listening to, because I was not actively engaging in a discussion with anybody. I was the endpoint on that chain of information sharing.
Once I realized that it felt like waking up. Becoming aware of my situation, was the first step towards being a creator instead of just a consumer.
The content stream is not stopping and only getting stronger. To be part of that stream you have to break the dam of fear and judgement that is holding you back.
Now that I value the time where my mind can float freely and try to be creative, I am more picky in what to spend my time on and with.
The rapid technological progress does not make it any easier. Right now I am using wireless earbuds for my audio entertainment. My devices are waterproof now. Granting me more freedom to create my daily reality the way I want to, anywhere.
Give it a couple of years and all this technology will be miniaturized to a point where I will be wearing a device on me all the time.
Filtering, enhancing and modifying sounds in my environment. Having a constant stream of music or podcasts or whatever I might want to listen to in the background.
Having a soundtrack of my life.
Once everyone's auditory life is unique, saved and visualized in software, we can start to analyze the data.
See patterns that relate to mood and productivity.
Maybe that is a project worth pursuing.
With all those music streaming services right now and the uprising of podcasts, there should be a way to gather that data through an API in a database and analyze it.
Machine learning should help with correlating music to moods, I think( I'm definitely not an expert in that regard).