The dude to the right is a character from the TV show Fringe named Lincoln Lee. That thing you see in his right ear is not an ear-ring. Rather, it’s a bluetooth-like device worn by characters in the “alternate universe.”
I long for that day in this one. Not for the day that bluetooth earpieces look like jewelry, but for the day when it is socially acceptable to wear these things at all times.
I ran across a neighbor at Safeway. He commented, “You really do always have that thing in your ear, don’t you? Do you sleep in it?”
Not generally, no.
It really has been an ongoing thing for me. Ever since I started listening to stuff at work a few jobs back, I decided that I wanted the ability to listen to things whenever I want. Therefore, the bluetooth is in my ear as often as not during my waking hours. This elicits a various responses. Some people joke about it (leave it in there long enough, your skin is going to grow over it!). I had a former boss who was frustrated by it. I always took it out whenever someone started talking to me, even though I could hear them just fine with it in. After that, I started keeping it out unless I was actively listening to something.
I keep about five of them around, so that I always have multiple ones charged. I suppose it looks goofy. Some might say that it’s rule because it gives the appearance that you’re not listening. I consider that to be a faulty norm. With the exception of discomfort (and I rarely feel that, thanks Plantronics!) there isn’t much reason to ever take it out. Even for someone that is moderately hard-of-hearing as I am.
I hope that this is one of those norms that does change. Maybe they need to do a better job of signalling whether someone is actually on a call or listening to something. However, the perception of it being douchey needs to be retired. We should accept the practicality of it. I don’t know if that day will ever come to pass. I still cling to my belt-holster for my cell phone as it becomes increasingly unacceptable (as phones increasingly fit into pockets). Sometimes, society moves the wrong direction.