Respect is an issue.
Originally Posted by Bizzel
When I'm actually in a shop, or any place with lots of people, they're always off and hanging round my neck out of respect. I'm fairly sure nobody wants to hear a tinny version of my music.
I couldn't agree more. I'm pretty oblivious, generally, and when I'm listening to music it's even worse. I sometimes catch myself wearing the phones while interacting with other people -- asking directions on the street, or checking out at the supermarket.
Yikes! That's incredibly rude. First of all because, as you point out, it imposes the insect-like hum of my music on people who almost certainly would rather not hear it.
But it's also blatantly disrespectful, because it lets me interact with someone without giving her or him my full attention. I despise being treated in such a dismissive way, and I always mentally slap myself when I catch myself doing this.