Panic at the Silent Disco

It isn’t every Saturday that I go out for a night on the town in Brooklyn. I can’t afford that. I’m usually in Manhattan, performing, seeing a show, slinging drinks at a theater, or buying a few items at every grocery store I pass, all of which I also cannot afford. But, mere weeks ago, I was out, about, and downright ready to shout at what I was seeing. Now, here’s a question that I will ask everyone when I eventually own a football team: “Wanna know the kicker?” The people that I was watching, with my mouth agape, wouldn’t have heard me. 

I immediately thought “Something’s off, here.” And I didn’t just say that because it was a dance party, and I heard no music. Like the music was literally off. People were dancing, having fun, grooving, as the kids say, but they were all wearing over the ear headphones. Like futuristic looking headphones with lights. Even the DJ had them on.

My next thought was “Ugh, Brooklyn. Now I’ve seen everything.” And from what I’ve seen, I’m really having a tough time wrapping my head around the idea. Apparently, what I’d stumbled upon was called a Silent Disco, and it’s exactly what it doesn’t sound like. A “communal” experience that doesn’t disturb you’re neighbors. For a big city like New York, that’s hard to find. It’s looks completely ridiculous, because it’s a quiet dance party in a street that parents and kids alike can attend without reservation. Or at least I don’t think think you need a reservation. No, probably not; it’s not a late night dance club.

What I question, though, is this: Are the folks participating more connected or less connected to each other? I mean, on the one hand, you’re next to people and you’re interacting with people, a lot of whom you may not know. Everybody can hear you about as well as in an actual club environment. But on the other hand, you’re separated like crazy from your friends, literally inches from them. I guess you can look up and see their faces, watch their smiles, and look at their eyeballs or something. Is that the same? I don’t think so.

I guess I go to a club (I don’t go to clubs) expecting to be headphone free, girlfriend free, and on my phone with my girlfriend the entire night. You can’t make me put someone else’s headphones on, steal someone else’s girlfriend, and enjoy myself at da club. Ok, maybe you’re just asking about 2 of those 3, but I just can’t bring myself to cooperate. 

This is where our society is right now. If I can’t put headphones on, did it even happen? Mics or it didn’t happen. #genZ Part of me misses the way things were at the club in the old days: no phones, no headphones, and no real ID’s. And part of me wasn’t alive for it. But that’s neither here nor there. Will we ever reconnect, throw these phones away and just talk, headphoneless head to headphoneless head? Probably not.

Anyway, DJ spin that shit. I don’t mean to harp on the young people’s fun. I guess I’m just. getting a little long in the Bluetooth. 

boop boop - DISCONNECTED