Music used to be a social activity – a communal experience that brought people together. Now, increasingly, it appears to be a solitary pleasure – with headphone-encased people plugged into their smartphones and oblivious to anything or anyone around them.
Occasionally they share whatever it is that they're listening to by turning up the volume so loud that those in the vicinity are forced to listen to (usually) awfully repetitive – and repetitively awful – rhythms. Otherwise, they shut everyone else out.
Now Brighton music venue the Komedia has taken all this to its logical conclusion by holding what it calls a 'Silent Disco'. This involves – and I'm not making this up – everyone wearing wireless headphones, listening to different music, but bopping around on the same dancefloor.
There will be three different music channels on offer – covering 'dance', 1970s/1980s and 'party' – and participants will be able to identify (but obviously not hear) what others are dancing to by the colours showing on their headsets.
And that seems to be the only human connection on offer. The days when a dance means an event where everybody meets and mingles and enjoys listening and responding to music together seem to be numbered. The rest is silence…
Silent Disco is at Komedia, Brighton, Friday 30th March, 11pm; www.komedia.co.uk