Now I don’t have the best of hearing, but the world seems inundated with noise of all kinds nowadays. First the alarm clock blasts us awake in the morning telling us another busy day has begun. I will have to admit, I very rarely wake to an alarm clock any more since I am retired. David sets his alarm, which I hardly ever hear, and goes to work early. But back in the days of school and a business and working, the alarm clock woke me every day.
Doing the laundry is no longer a silent job. Just opening the washer lid sets off a dinging telling you the lid is up. Then, when the wash load is completed, there is another ding to remind you that you put clothes in the washer. Same goes for the dryer. Open the door and there is a ding. Clothes dry, ding again.
Driving a car use to be pretty easy. You got in the car, turned on the lights if needed and drove. Now the car warns you your door is open, your seatbelt is not on and if you left your lights on before getting out there is a loud ping-ping-ping that won’t let up until you turn off the lights. If you forget and leave your keys in the ignition, there is another warning sound that is so irritating, you can’t get the keys out fast enough. And I’m sure many of you have heard the check engine ding that may or may not be warning you about something. David ignored that ding for years in his truck and has never had any trouble. A tire low, ding again. Gone are the days when you were responsible for checking the pressure in your tires or remembering to turn off the lights or take out the key.
Have you listened to any news on tv lately? What’s with the steady beat behind the reporting? It seems the news cannot be reported any longer unless there is music or drum beats going on in the background. Sometimes it’s so loud, it’s hard to hear the reporters. Same with movies and television shows. The background music is so intrusive, it drowns out the voices you are trying to hear. I read once that the makers of movies thought the loud music would make it more of an experience for the viewer, drawing them in. It makes me want to leave. Sometimes the music is so loud in the movie theater I have to cover my years. Is there an insidious effort to make us all deaf or deafer than we already are? I also have been noticing a subliminal sound of a telephone ring in the background of some things I am watching. David doesn’t hear it, but I have heard it clearly several time. I am not going nuts.
Loud music in passing cars. We sit on our porch quite frequently and a car will go by with the bass playing so loudly, I fear for the occupants inside. When I can feel the beat in my chest from a car passing my house, it must be a tad too loud.
Trains. I love trains. I have lived by train tracks for almost my entire married life and enjoy seeing the trains go by. But lately, it seems the train whistles have become much louder and longer in duration. I wonder about the engineers who really lay on the horn and keep it going from one crossing to the next. Why is it necessary for them to keep the horns going after they have crossed the track? It’s a noise that is causing some problems in my city because there are more trains going through than ever before. The city fathers are trying to find a solution, but I don’t think they will do anything with the crossing by my house as we are too far out of town, even though we are considered in city limits.
Dogs barking. Okay. They are my dogs. Some day I will have to tape Molly when a train goes by. She is louder than the train, if possible. It’s almost like she is enjoying the howling and will continue it long after the train has passed. She doesn’t do it when I am outside with her. I am sure the train whistle hurts her ears, but she should be getting use to them.
Talking heads on tv. They are just noise. Who are these people that others take them seriously and listen to them? Watch one show there is one view. Watch another there is an opposing view and the more controversial the topic, the louder the voices get and they shout over each other. Noise. I find myself turning them off more and more.
Cellphones. David and I rarely use our cellphones except for long distance calls and we do take it with us on trips in case we have car trouble. But I see people with cellphones on continually, whether playing games or scrolling through pictures or checking Facebook or twitter. Kids wear earplugs in their ears continuously listening to the latest music. People turning on and turning out everywhere. It’s not noise, but it’s another distraction from real life. I notice even in church people are sitting there scrolling through their cellphones and I know they are not all reading the Bible! And sometimes a cellphone will ring right in the middle of the sermon. Noise. Distraction. We have become a nation of watchers, not doers. Many people aren’t in the moment anymore. If it’s not on their cellphone, it’s not life for them.
I’m as bad as the next one. I have to have background noise on most of the time whether it’s the tv or radio. Lots of times I’m not even really listening. Noise. I must make a concerted effort to turn off the tv and radio and listen to the silence for a while. I don’t know how anyone is creative anymore with sound blaring constantly all around them. Some of the best inventions have happened when people were bored and were sitting quietly, thinking.
I hope I don’t sound like a curmudgeon. Yesterday probably wasn’t any better than today, but it sure seems like it’s a lot noisier today. Who listens to the birds singing or the patter of rain on the roof or the wind blowing through the trees? If it all isn’t done with background music many probably won’t listen. Noise. How has it affected you today?