The Wall of Noise

The wall of noise just keeps growing! It was bad enough to get stuck at a street corner with another car’s stereo at full blast! And usually accompanied by thumping base lines. Base lines that shake every car whose occupants pray that the green light will come quickly. Now with phones and blue tooth speakers, walkers and cyclists have swollen the numbers of the inconsiderate.

Sitting on your patio or deck and the neighbour decides that the whole neighbourhood should listen to ABBA, or even worse, Celine Dion at 8 o’clock in the morning. I want to scream!

There is a simple rule for consuming audio output from your phone and it is this: nobody else should be able to hear it. If you want to watch a TV show or listen to one of Monocle 24’s excellent programmes while in public, wear earphones. If you want to make a phone call on the train, don’t. It isn’t complicated.

Andrew Mueller, Editor-in-Chief, Monocle Magazine

The Wall of Noise not just music

Do you enjoy listening to other people’s phone calls? In restaurants, in public transit – even in designated quiet zones, in airports people are yakking loudly everywhere. Often we can hear both sides of the conversation with audio switched to “speaker”. I have heard people on the commuter train arranging trysts with their lovers. Arguments, confidential business calls, family feuds, negotiations with home renovation contractors – I have heard everything. And not because I have wanted to or tried to listen.

And now with streaming video, we now get movies and television broadcasts! Gaggles of teens, well people of all ages, gather to watch the latest Tik-Tok video or cute cat video – volume at full blast so that everyone can hear. Maybe we will inadvertently catch the ending of that movie we have been looking forward to seeing!

It is also the accompanying behaviour! Sidewalks are hogged! People sprawled over three seats at the airport and picking lint from their navels. Or with their bare feet propped up on the seat next to you!

Narcissism or solipsism?

Narcissism – extreme self-involvement to the degree that it makes a person ignore the needs of those around them.

Solipsism- the idea that nothing matters but oneself.

Pretty similar concepts! What can we do?

  • Ask: Do you think you could turn that up? or
  • Do you take requests? or
  • Where did you say you were meeting for an afternooner?
  • Suggest a new roofing / electrical / etcetera contractor
  • To the person with naked feet on seats on the airport lounge: I have the name of a place where you can get a pedicure because you need one! I think you have nail fungus!

Fight self-absorption! Tackle the wall of noise!

Too much noise!

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