Here are a few responses (my comments are in italics) to the Living Without Sound mini-workshop, anonymized as per participant request. All participants had normal hearing. This second reply was from a male graduate student in engineering, also in his mid-twenties. I didn't have time to write commentary on this one.
I did two different versions of the experiment, one with headphones on going into a store with loud music playing, and another with earplugs in, while I was hanging out with my friends.
The place where I went with headphones is a small sandwich shop near my house, that I go to somewhat frequently, but not frequently enough that they really know me there. First, on the walk over, I cross a couple of streets, and spend a little while walking around cars. I felt like I had to check for cars more when I was looking versus when I was looking and listening, since when I'm listening, I can hear things I can't see, and at one point while walking down the road, I was really surprised when a car I didn't hear came up from behind me.
When I got to the store, it wasn't very crowded, but I hadn't decided what I wanted to get. I stood around looking at the menu, and a few people walked by me. Asking for and paying for the sandwich with headphones in was kind of an awkward experience, with the employees giving me a kind of "wtf/how rude" look, and me basically having to assume what they were saying (thankfully, I knew it was going to be "what kind of bread do you want", and then telling me my total and asking for money, so that was easy. Or at least they acted like I answered the right questions, who knows if I really did).
The last step in the "getting food" adventure was probably the hardest. At this place (and quite a few others), after you've ordered and paid, you have to wait for your food to finish being prepared, and then they'll call out your name. Instead of just sitting down and reading like I usually do, I had to stand pretty close to the counter (where other people were trying to pay) and watch the food coming out. That was crazy awkward, but thankfully it wasn't too crowded.
After I had food, I sat down in the restaurant to eat, and it was kind of lonely, if that makes sense? I usually sort of just eavesdrop when eating there (there are usually some interesting conversations going on), but this time all I had to accompany me was death metal and a sandwich. After finishing up, I left and went home fairly uneventfully.
Later that week, I tried an experiment with wearing earplugs while hanging around with my friends. I had a slight advantage, in that they were my bandmates, we were hanging out at practice, and I usually do wear earplugs since I stand right next to the drum kit, but I almost always take the earplugs out right after we finish a song, so I can sort of figure out what is going on and what comments people had about the music. This time, I couldn't hear anything unless someone said it directly to me, and at close range, so I wound up missing what the next song we were playing was a couple of times, and I was generally left out of a lot of conversations. This might have been amplified by the fact that we were in a pretty small, fairly crowded basement, and to get over to me, you almost have to jump over the drumkit. The drummer knew what I was doing, and so after I missed a few songs, was telling me what was coming up next, but it was still kind of awkward.
Probably the most difficult thing about that experience is that between songs, and before and after practice, I like to do a little solo practice in the space, while some of my bandmates are taking and figuring out what they're going to be doing later. This got kind of awkward, since I could only hear myself when I was amplified, and when that happened, they couldn't really talk. What I ended up doing was playing unamplified, but slower, and lower down the fretboard, so I could sort of feel what I was playing by holding the body of the guitar really close to me. I think this only really worked because I was playing bass, and I don't think it would have worked at all with other instruments, even if it didn't work particularly well for me.