Yes! Normally I have music going at first, but if I’m super focused on something (normally reading) I won’t notice when it stops. When I do, I leave ’em in because I want to be left alone. Like, leave me to my thoughts, pedestrians. Just keep walking.
I do sometimes. Other times I’m just using them as volume control. I’m very sensitive to people’s voices, and they tend to get louder than I can handle (unintentionally), so if they talk to me while I’m doing this, I’ll either converse as normal or move the ear thing that’s farther from them off my ear.
Yes, though sometimes it backfires when people will have loud conversations right next to you and assume you can’t hear. I once listened to a group of snotty 20-ish year old sales clerks running down all the customers at a hardware store. I had to ask a question, so once they finished their bitchfest I went up to one of them. He dramatically rolled his eyes and pointed at his ear to indicate I should remove my ear buds before he answered my question.
It was a pleasure to watch his face drop as I explained that there was no music playing and I just left them in to avoid chatty strangers; he instantly realized I’d heard all his bitching.
Still, I’d rather the trick work as intended.