Welcome to a new weekly meme post. I'll be asking myself a single question--normally a thought on a book or a bookish subject--that I've been pondering for the past week. This week it's "Why the f*ck is the world so loud?"
You know what I'm talking about. You're sitting in the break room, quietly reading, and in comes one of your coworkers talking loudly on their cell phone. You can hear their entire conversation. Then a car goes by and the large glass windows shake from the bass of it. BOOM BOOM BOOM.
You're sitting at home in your apartment and your neighbor decides to blast music. You're sitting in the library and on that day the person who has never entered a library before comes in and decides to use a computer. "ARE THE COMPUTERS FREE FOR EVERYONE TO USE? HOW DO I GET THIS TO WORK? CAN SOMEONE HELP ME?" All the while you're trying to read and they're making exasperated noises and sighing loudly.
Then there's the babies. Babies aren't so bad because they don't know better. But does a baby really belong in a Starbucks at 10AM while you're trying to get caffeinated and finish a book?
As a reader I don't need a ton of quiet. I just need a minimal level. I've learned through the years how to block out a TV or silence a room full of people. It seems recently, though, that people are getting louder. It's either me aging or learning what I don't like.
I primarily blame cell phones. The amazing devices have ruined movies for me, have ruined entire conversations because of text text text "I'm sorry, what were you saying?"
The cell phone is also partly to blame for my quiet world getting louder and louder. It's partly to blame for an increase in rudeness and awkward social situations. (There's always that awkward pause when you ask an awkward question and now the person can check their phone, pretend that the awkward part didn't happen, and carry along as normal.)*
In Gunpowder the author Jack Kelly marveled at how quiet the world was before the invention of the substance his book is named for. That on a battlefield there was the snarl of horses and the cold clash of metal weapons, there was a complete lack of explosions and artillery fire. The world didn't exactly echo or reverb with the sound of warfare. I want to remember the world before cell phones, before amps were as large as cars, and before they started playing sh*t music in Starbucks.
I would like my semi-quiet world back. We don't have to throw out our cell phones or lock ourselves up in a quiet room with three inch concrete walls. We just have to exercise a little tact and ask ourselves "Am I being too loud?"
That's it for this week's why the f*ck friday. Different opinion? Similar experience? Similar thoughts on this subject? Post it below in the comments. Feel free to berate me, praise me, or buy me some fancy coffee. I enjoy hearing the bookish and nerdy thoughts of others.
Note: Link to my favorite iPod app. It's called Simply Noise. It turns your iPod into a white noise machine that blocks out just about everything.
*The cell phone is the ultimate cop-out machine.