Friday, May 18, 2012

why the f*ck friday (3)


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.

26 comments:

  1. I used to study at the local coffee shop because the library was TOO quiet and I would fall asleep. This is not the case any longer. I was there with my 7 year old last week. We were sitting in the children's section so he could practice his reading when two adults stop RIGHT next to us. There is a TON of room ANYWHERE else in the building..but they proceed to carry on a LOUD and LENGTHY conversation two steps away from us. It was so distracting my son was staring at them and couldn't read. Really??? Take your discussion outside.

    Speaking of movies and cell phones...Do you find it annoying when you are at the theater and you see glowing screens pop up? Someone paid to come see a movie, but they are checking FB, twitter, texting etc. I don't get it. It is like when you are on a flight. Please turn off all cell phones and stow them away until the end of the movie.

    My mother-in-law is the worst cell phone offender that I know. She will answer the phone at a table in a nice restaurant...Rule #1 is now broken...she talks loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear...NEWS FLASH nobody else cares what you are talking about...then instead of playing with the grandchildren that she only sees once every other month...she is busy checking FB and playing words with friends. Really??? Is coming up with a 5 letter word using a Z more important than your grandson's soccer game...which you are missing by the way??? That is my rant from last weekend.

    Wow...Your Why the F Friday segment may become very therapeutic for me. I haven't been able to tell anyone about all of that. *Takes a deep breath, drinks my coffee, snarky attitude goes out the window* :)

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    1. That has never happened to me before, thankfully.

      Unfortunately the cell phone thing does bother me. I yelled at someone during The Hunger Games because they were in the front row and kept getting their phone out, holding it up, and checking FB. Everyone could see it. No one was saying anything, so I just yelled at the guy.

      Oh goodness. I would hope that her family would at least confront her about her behavior?

      It's exactly what it's for.

      Delete
  2. As shallow as this sounds, I LOVE using my cell phone as a cop out excuse. Instead of glassing over during a conversation, as was mentioned in last week's segment, I just whip out my cell phone and passively aggressively show the amount of disdain I have for the current topic.

    Oh, yeah... keep on talking, I'm totally not ignoring you and your boring topic while checking to see if I get a text or playing online chess... :D

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    1. Good point. But sometimes people don't understand that you're more interested in your phone than what they're saying. So the point is never made.

      Delete
  3. I suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder, the easiest way to explain it is that my senses never fully developed so I'm hyper or hypo sensitive. For my hearing, I suffer from Misophonia eating/mouth noises, and repeating noises are the worse. I love Simply Noise, I listen to it at work to drown out my coworkers. I recommend osculating brown noise, it kind of sounds like ocean waves.

    As for cellphones, my ex was constantly checking his phone. We would be out to dinner and he would be staring at his BB, so I would text him and ask if he wanted to talk through texts. He would get mad like I was the one in the wrong.

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    1. I listen to the osculating brown noise as well! It's my favorite! The pink noise is too sharp sounding for me, and the white noise is too loud and confusing.

      I keep my phone away during dates or during dinner with friends, unless it's made obvious that we're done eating, or that we're at a restaurant where it doesn't matter (sports bar). Other than that it goes away. Your ex is an ex for a very good reason.

      Delete
    2. At a sports bar I'm the one not paying attention to the conversation because I'm watching the tv.

      Delete
  4. I am completely with you on this!

    As I'm typing this, I am hearing the class next door to me through the f*cking wall. I hear this BS non-stop. Classes in the hallway...loud as f*ck.

    I think my niece's tubes have fallen out. She's talking loud as f*ck these days.

    I go home and my mom just wants to talk.

    I go home and I just want to rock myself quietly while I chill out before I pick up my current read. I am on medication for nerves. My nerves are shot because of this f*cking noise.

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    1. I like that that f*ck came out of you!

      I like that another one came!

      So glad it's not just me that's getting wrecked by all this noise that showed up recently.

      Delete
  5. My house is too loud. The people that live with me are too loud. The young ones I can handle - send them upstairs or to their rooms or give them a book and they're instantly at least a little bit quieter. But the adult - he's extremely resistant when I ask him to be quiet. Which I find basically the worst thing in MY world. After all day of doing for everybody else and doing the stuff I do, I want/demand time for myself to read right before I go to bed. That means everyone needs to leave me alone and be quiet. But in reality, I may as well turn a damn neon sign on over my head that invites questions, comments, or youtube videos at an ungodly volume. I cannot stand it. I seriously hate it. Worst thing. You wouldn't even believe it.

    Also, I just have realized I've had that noise app on for 4 1/2 hours. Ha!

    But seriously, most of my offending noise is within my own home, which is pretty awful. I don't mind cellphones too much - they tend to keep my party quieter. So I guess I'll be the weirdo of the day.

    This topic really should come with a warning for this gal because it is all I can do to talk appropriately. But it's all related to me reading books, not my feeling toward cellphones.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Isn't Simply Noise amazing? It really helps me read more without distraction.

      I think it's technology. I don't like it when someone else watches a Youtube video around me and I'm trying to do something. It can be really grating.

      I should just slap a warning on all WTFFs. Warning: May cause rage.

      Delete
    2. It's not technology but I would like to acknowledge your diplomacy. It's there and I see it!! :)

      Delete
  6. I kind of love how this makes you seem like my grandpa. My crotchety grumpy grandpa.

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    1. I do feel crotchety sometimes. Those damn kids on my lawn are so loud sometimes...

      Delete
  7. I hate loud, rude people. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. I usually don't check my phone if I'm out and about or with friends unless I know it's an important call. I don't care that "oh, my god, no he did not!" when all I want to do is read.

    I also think that magazine reading is the noisiest thing ever. The past two Sundays I've been trying to watch Sherlock and of course *noisy page turn,* what did they say? It's like if you'd put the magazine away and pay attention you'd know...

    A woman brought her two small children to the library and left them unattended and less than five minutes later I heard the unmistakable sound of crashing books, followed by laughter and screams that only children make. If they want to be loud and trash your house, that's fine. But it's a library, not your house.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It had never occurred to me how loud magazine reading is. Newspaper reading is also along the same line. On the older Kindles you can hear people clicking through pages... that can get a little old, but it's acceptable.

      Some people do not know how to watch their kids. I'm glad I work in an office.

      Delete
  8. I grew up reading Jane Austen in noisy school cafeterias and the din near the swings at the park during summers spent reading, so I've grown immune to the noise. I can literally open a book anywhere and become oblivious to everything going on around me. Although I understand that this sensibility is not at all in the spirit of What the F*ck Friday so, yeah- noise.

    1. When people won't stop talking WHILE YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH T.V.
    2.When people play music in their cars so loud that the whole road feels like it is vibrating.
    3. The Transformers movies. Enough said.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're allowed to disagree with me, so you're in the spirit of WTFF.

      Yes to those three things as well. They all drive me crazy. And you know, I haven't even seen the third Transformers. I stopped watching the second one midway through, I just couldn't handle it.

      Delete
  9. HA! This is such a great post =) My husband personal noisy pet peeve with the world is loud vehicles. Especially first thing in the morning. Who can ride a massively loud Harley at 7 a.m.? Don't the rider's ears need some time to wake up first thing in the morning?

    And I TOTALLY agree with you on texting. I went to see the Hunger Games movie a few weeks ago, and the guy sitting next to me TEXTED throughout the ENTIRE movie. The whole thing! He paid money to sit in a movie theatre and text. Plus, the light off his iPhone was supremely annoying.

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    1. I think all Harley riders are deaf or out seeking attention. My parents had a neighbor who would work on his motorcycle every Sunday morning and rev its engine to check and see if everything was working properly. Some people...

      I had an experience like that with a texter. I yelled at him, though. And everyone laughed at him. He put away his phone. If I were a comic book character I would be called "Manners Man" because I tend to bash out rudeness wherever I go.

      Delete
  10. Hey look! I'm not the first to comment this time! I must have had a life this week (or an attention seeking infant - one of those).

    I moved out to the suburbs expecting to leave behind the noise and disruption of the city. Nosireebob. The house I bought is on a curve, so I am one of three houses that shares an odd triangle of a backyard (picture a big green pizza with the houses placed on the crust) which brings me into WAY too much contact with my neighbors. I also did not realize that the middle house had an 8 year old son and a motherfucking trampoline that would serve as the focal point for EVERY CHILD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD! Honestly, I feel like I have a school playground in my backyard.

    And of course, in this day and age, when there are 10 young boys in your backyard screaming at the top of their lungs and keeping your 8 mth old from napping you are certainly not allowed to say anything. NOOOOOOOO that would be hurting their self esteem and inviting the wrath of every parent on the block. So you keep quiet and slowly die inside.

    I guess my point is. People are too loud and disrespectful of other people's space and they allow their children to behave the same way.

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    1. No you're not! I am very disappointed in you right now.

      Trampolines attract kids like crazy. What you need is a kid with a swimming pool across the street. That'll draw them away from it.

      Couldn't you just construct a fence? Or do some light construction on your home, and tell the parents that there could be nails in the yard? That would get them off your back for a while.

      Agreed.

      Delete
  11. Perhaps you should move to Green Bank, West Virginia. It's in the National Radio Quiet Zone, which means wireless signals like cell phones and wireless internet are not allowed. There is some sort of radio telescope receiving signals from space and it apparently cannot be disturbed. I saw a feature yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning about it. The people who live there have either been there their whole lives or have moved there from other places because they think cell phone towers were making them sick. They also have a guy who drives around in a truck with sensors to detect people who are violating the no-wireless-signals rule. If they don't turn off their wi-fi, the FCC can make them turn it off.

    http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/15/welcome-to-the-wireless-free-zone-in-green-bank-wv/

    http://www.gb.nrao.edu/nrqz/

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    1. That's some good thinking there... I would move but it wouldn't solve the loud children/loud people problems. Although, I'd see a movie there in a heart beat.

      Delete
  12. Perhaps you should move to Green Bank, West Virginia. It's in the National Radio Quiet Zone, which means wireless signals like cell phones and wireless internet are not allowed. There is some sort of radio telescope receiving signals from space and it apparently cannot be disturbed. I saw a feature yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning about it. The people who live there have either been there their whole lives or have moved there from other places because they think cell phone towers were making them sick. They also have a guy who drives around in a truck with sensors to detect people who are violating the no-wireless-signals rule. If they don't turn off their wi-fi, the FCC can make them turn it off.

    http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/15/welcome-to-the-wireless-free-zone-in-green-bank-wv/

    http://www.gb.nrao.edu/nrqz/

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't stand silence! I need background noise even when I am reading. I can tune out the noise I don't want to hear most of the time. Phones don't usually bother me unless people have ringtones for their text messages and it goes of repeatedly or when you are in a public place and the phone keeps ringing over and over. I was getting my nails done the other day and this ladies phone kept going off. I just wanted to tell her to put the freaking thing on vibrate.

    ReplyDelete

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