While living in Mexico, I was largely cut off from mainstream America media. For me, I bought Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp a Butterfly and only had the music. I came back to the States and fell right back into old habits googling interviews and whatnot about the album only to be met with other people's opinions, comments, and criticisms.
I had an A-HA moment when I realized that I got to listen to the album with only my thoughts and feelings about KL's lyrics and how I interpreted them. I fell in love with the words and the emotion behind them. There was no one to influence me or skew my views based on what happened at the Grammy Awards (still don't know cuz I didn't click the link) or what Lady Gaga had to say (don't really know that either).
In these times, we are so connected to out phones and electronic devices that we forget to just listen. Seems simple, right? Just listen. So why don't we do that? Why do we google the fuck out of something or someone? For me, I wanted to devour everything KL when in reality, I had what I needed. I had the music in my iTunes. Why do I need more?
I don't have the answer to these questions, but I do have the experience of listening to an album and forming my own ideas about what the music means to ME. I stayed connected to my country through music, but did so with JUST the music.
Try for a week, or even a day, to unplug and just listen. See if you can do it.
While you're at it, go a week without a mirror. I did.
And it changed me.