“We conceive of time as a continuum, but we perceive it in discretized units—or, rather,as discretized units. It has long been held that, just as objective time is dictated by clocks, subjective time (barring external influences) aligns to physiological metronomes. Music creates discrete temporal units but ones that do not typically align with the discrete temporal units in which we measure time. Rather, music embodies (or, rather, is embodied within) a separate, quasi-independent concept of time, able to distort or negate “clock-time.” This other time creates a parallel temporal world in which we are prone to lose ourselves, or at least to lose all semblance of objective time.
In recent years, numerous studies have shown how music hijacks our relationship with everyday time. For instance, more drinks are sold in bars when with slow-tempo music, which seems to make the bar a more enjoyable environment, one in which patrons want to linger—and order another round.1 Similarly, consumers spend 38 percent more time in the grocery store when the background music is slow.2 Familiarity is also a factor. Shoppers perceive longer shopping times when they are familiar with the background music in the store, but actually spend more time shopping when the music is novel.3 Novel music is perceived as more pleasurable, making the time seem to pass quicker, and so shoppers stay in the stores longer than they may imagine.
Perhaps the clearest evidence of musical hijacking is this: In 2004, the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring deemed Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyrie the most dangerous music to listen to while driving. It is not so much the distraction, but the substitution of the frenzied tempo of the music that challenges drivers’ normal sense of speed—and the objective cue of the speedometer—and causes them to speed.”
Read on: How Music Hijacks Our Perceptions of Time
"According to the World Health Organization, global suicide rates have increased by 60 percent over the past 45 years. The increase in this country is nothing like that, but between 1999 and 2010, the suicide rate among Americans between 35 and 64 rose by 28 percent. More people die by suicide than by auto accidents.
When you get inside the numbers, all sorts of correlations pop out. Whites are more likely to commit suicide than African-Americans or Hispanics. Economically stressed and socially isolated people are more likely to commit suicide than those who are not. People in the Western American states are more likely to kill themselves than people in the Eastern ones. People in France are more likely to kill themselves than people in the United Kingdom.”
"In her eloquent and affecting book “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It,” Jennifer Michael Hecht presents two big counterideas that she hopes people contemplating potential suicides will keep in their heads. Her first is that, “Suicide is delayed homicide.” Suicides happen in clusters, with one person’s suicide influencing the other’s. If a parent commits suicide, his or her children are three times as likely to do so at some point in their lives. In the month after Marilyn Monroe’s overdose, there was a 12 percent increase in suicides across America. People in the act of committing suicide may feel isolated, but, in fact, they are deeply connected to those around. As Hecht put it, if you want your niece to make it through her dark nights, you have to make it through yours.
Her second argument is that you owe it to your future self to live. A 1978 study tracked down 515 people who were stopped from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Decades later, Hecht writes, “94 percent of those who had tried to commit suicide on the bridge were still alive or had died of natural causes.” Suicide is an act of chronological arrogance, the assumption that the impulse of the moment has a right to dictate the judgment of future decades.”
The Irony of Despair
"If you’ve logged into your Facebook or Twitter accounts in the past two weeks, you have probably seen at least one – or more likely, six or seven – posts from an app called What Would I Say?. Simply put, it’s a little mechanism that, when you give it permission, processes every status, photo caption, and comment you’ve ever posted to your own Facebook timeline and spits out a randomly generated status that resembles something “you would say.” … [I]n the two weeks since its inception, over 2.2 million of the bot’s faux-statuses have been posted on Facebook.
'Bots like this show you that you exist,' says social media theorist and sociologist Nathan Jurgenson, who studies the interactions between our digital and IRL selves. … 'You’ve posted all these status updates, they really did matter, they haven’t gone away, they were recorded, and they say something about you. It’s the same thing people said when Friendster came around: We want proof that we exist.'”
"PROOF" | Wired
"The perspective that rejection in love involves subcortical reward gain/loss systems critical to survival helps to explain why feelings and behaviors related to romantic rejection are difficult to control and lends insight into the high cross-cultural rates of stalking, homicide, suicide, and clinical depression associated with rejection in love."
The Science Behind Why Breakups Suck
“Globally…depression is the second-leading cause of disability.”
"The most depressed country [in the world] is Afghanistan, where more than one in five people suffer from the disorder. The least depressed is Japan."
Depression Rates Around the World
"A new study finds that people are viewed as more attractive when they are part of a group, rather than alone.”
"Blogging isn’t good for the soul.
I have a rule about blogging. Don’t blog about your blogging. …
I bring up this…not to make a point about narcissism and blogging (a topic I should address someday), but to use it as an example regarding the relationship between violence and self-esteem.
One of the things I’ve learned from writers like James Alison, a theologian deeply informed by Rene Girard, is how rivalry is intimately associated with our self-concept. Specifically, most of us create, build up and maintain our self-esteem through rivalry with others. Our sense of self-worth is created and supported by some contrast and opposition to others. I am a self in that I am over and against others. Better. Smarter. More righteous. More successful. More authentic. More humane. Less hoodwinked. More tolerant. More insightful. More kind. More something.
In short, selfhood is inherently rivalrous. Rivalry creates the self. Rivalry is the fuel of self-esteem and self-worth.
Which means that the self is inherently violent. The definition of the self is an act of aggression and violence. To be “Richard Beck” is to engage in violence against others, if not physically than affectionally. From sunrise to sunset every thought I have about myself is implicated in acts of comparison, judgement, and evaluation of others, allowing me to create a sense of self and then fill that self with feelings of significance and worthiness.
And this also applies to those with low self-worth, those who define themselves negatively in comparison with others. The violence here is simply internalized, directed toward the self rather than toward others. But at the end of the day it’s the same mechanism, you are either winning or losing the rivalry, having either high or low self-esteem, but in either case the self is still being defined by violence.
Things like blogging, given its nature, can bring these rivalrous feelings to the surface making them more transparent (if you are self-reflective). But it’s just a symptom of a deeper sickness, that the self in inherently rivalrous and that self-esteem is a feeling of significance achieved over against others.
We feel good about ourselves by stepping on the heads of others, physically or psychologically.”
The explosion in music consumption over the last century has made ‘what you listen to’ an important personality construct – as well as the root of many social and cultural tribes – and, for many people, their self-perception is closely associated with musical preference. We would perhaps be reluctant to admit that our taste in music alters - softens even - as we get older.
Now, a new study suggests that - while our engagement with it may decline - music stays important to us as we get older, but the music we like adapts to the particular ‘life challenges’ we face at different stages of our lives.
It would seem that, unless you die before you get old, your taste in music will probably change to meet social and psychological needs.
One theory put forward by researchers, based on the study, is that we come to music to experiment with identity and define ourselves, and then use it as a social vehicle to establish our group and find a mate, and later as a more solitary expression of our intellect, status and greater emotional understanding.