The difference between hearing and listening is that in hearing, you can physically sit there and hear what others are saying, whereas listening is paying attention to the conversation. It might be a topic that we are interested in and want to know more. Yes, we choose what we listen to because we usually listen to things we are interested. We make these choices by paying attention to the details, making eye contact, making body gestures, and giving feedback. Criteria we use are paying attention, showing that I listen, providing feedback, and responding appropriately. It depends if structural features, such as race, gender, or social class, inform how we hear. It mainly depends on one’s perspective and thoughts on how they were raised, educated, social circles, and personal experiences. Other structural elements that affect our listening experiences can be our surroundings, influence from others, distraction, etc.
Schafer and Krukowski discuss the relationship between sound and space. They make sense of we utilize our hearing to find sounds around us. They additionally discuss how New York has been getting “gentrified.” They also discuss the surroundings of NYC, where everyone is captivated by their technology. Everyone has headphones on, using their phones or other electronics. When I am on the train or the bus, everyone is busy with their phones. They are listening to music, watching videos, making phone calls, etc. Everyone is trying to avoid contact with others around them.