Why have we become so noisy?
Let me preface this little tirade by disclosing a terrible, frightening, personal secret. I have a hearing problem. OK, well, it’s not terrible or frightening, nor really very personal. But it is a problem, because I have a lot of trouble distinguishing sounds when there is more than one happening – for example, if several people are talking, I can’t distinguish any of them. Now, this may actually be a common problem these days, because there is so much noise about.
Holy crap! As I write this, the TV is on. And a Cingular commercial touting Spider-Man just blasted my ear drums. And this on a TV that purports to equalize the volume of commercials.
Loud commercials, cacophonous promos for wrestling and reality shows, cars that come down my street with deafening, thumping bass on the stereo, helicopters and jets flying over…
Yesterday as I sat in Dallas-Ft. Worth gate C-36, I was struck by the incredibly loud beeping of the electric carts, the loud soundtrack of the CNN Airport Channel that was on whether you wanted it or not, the yammering of 30 people all talking on their cell phones (many of which were preceded by insistent, annoying rings), the repetitive beeping of a Palm handheld every time someone pressed a button…
Big cars and SUVs rumbling in the parking lot. People who gather outside an office building to smoke and scream at each other. Stores like Best Buy that turn up each and every stereo and TV to create a sharp roar that makes me turn right around and leave.
I’m tired of having to ask people to repeat everything they say because the ambient noise around me is unbearable.