We live in constant noise and silence fade away!

We all need moments and places that are quiet and where we can “hear” the silence. But it is difficult to find silent places in our modern world. Our time and its people seem to feel an insane fear of silence and it’s almost as we do what ever it takes to avoid listen to our thoughts, or others for that matter!

The definition of hearing is to be able to hear sounds, and the definition of silence is the absence of sound, so therefore you can’t really hear silence. But I use the phrase anyway, because I think that being able to “hear” and experience silence is vital for humans, we need opportunities to listen to our own thoughts and our minds. It is important to have a place where we can find silence, especially when our life and our world are spinning fast.

We are constantly surrounded by sound in our modern lives. The problem is worst in the cities, but also in the countryside it’s difficult to find silent places. Even if you are on a boat in a small lake in the middle of nowhere, it isn’t silent! You can often hear remote traffic, shots from a shooting range, aeroplanes etc. Living in a city means that you must accept being surrounded by sound from e.g. neighbours, traffic. In the city, it is seldom silent, and as time goes, you get use to this background noise. On the other hand, living in absolutely silence, like an eremite, isn’t the thing we need, but the possibility to have a place where you can have peace and quiet without disturbing sound when you want to, that’s necessary.

We live in “sound infected” times, surrounded with music that we haven’t chosen, car engines, fans, cell phone signals and other peoples noisy chatter. Worst is the music that fills out every corner. In restaurants, shops, buses, gyms, waiting rooms, everywhere there is music, and most of the time at high volume. The supermarket has constant music and advertising messages and if you wait on the phone, you can be forced to listen to a bad version of a hit. On trains and busses you have to listen to other peoples conversations on cell phones, even if you don’t want to hear it.

In bars the music is so high that we often have to shout to each other in order to communicate, and the music gets higher by the hour, because the pumping music are supposes to make the guests drink more. In the end, conversation is impossible or gets absurd.

Why music is high in some restaurants is incomprehensible, because the main reasons to go to a restaurant is for the food and to be able to talk with your dinner company. It is hard to appreciate even good food in a restaurant with high music, and if the experience isn’t positive you won’t get back there a second time.

Music is great and can be used for relaxation and I really enjoy listen to music. Music can create all sorts of emotions and memories. It is the constant “shower” of music that is disturbing and the shower of music you haven’t chosen.

This constant noise has an impact on us, even if we don’t know it.


What is silence?

A sound level not exceeding 20 decibel is usually described as quiet. If a sound is seen as noise is personal and can differ between people. But most people think of sounds like the wind, birds singing as sound that is accepted in a silent place.

Silence can be understood in different ways; it can be a negative silence, or a positive silence.

A negative silence can be seen as lack of speech and audio, and many people are intimidated and feel uneasy without noise, like when nervous chatter arises to fill out even short moments of silence. For some people forced silence can be horrible.

Silence can also be positive if you appreciate peace and quiet. A walk in the woods can give a sense of tranquillity when the wind rustling in the trees. And since most people don’t see wind as sound you can focus on your own thoughts. Another positive silence is the casual silences that can be between couples that have been married for a long time, or between old friends. When you know somebody well you don’t have to talk all the time and there is no awkward silence that needs to be filled.

How can noise affects us

We are bombarded with noise today. We are exposed with hundreds of times more sound vibrations than our parent and grandparent ever could imagine. Sound affects us and our state of mind in many ways. To be exposed to such noise often and all the time causes irritation and stress in humans. At worst, it can result in permanent hearing loss or health problem. The so-called modern sound is often all around us and in that way elusive, and can be humble, week and discrete. But it is also pollutant and much more dangerous than we can realise.

Sound that we see as noise affects our concentration and our ability to learn new things. It can cause headache, heartbeat, high blood pressure. Sometimes, we might even not hear the noise, not until we turn it of or the noise disappear, but when it does, we notice the difference.

Sound travels in wave’s trough the air and is measured in frequencies and intensity. Eliminate noise totally is often difficult and instead we use another way; when we can´t get rid of the noise instead we try to “cover up” the noise with for example music. And it might work, that is, if you like the music!

We quickly stop paying attention to noise of moderate level. But that we don’t pay attention doesn't mean that we don’t are affected. It is just difficult for us to see that there can be a connection between sound and the way we feel or how well we function

What is noise for younger people?

The younger generation have more or less grown up with noise; noisy toys, cartoons, and of course music. By the time they reach the teenage, they avoid silence and many teenagers screens off from the world with mp3, and music from other sources. They are also used to be constantly online on Facebook and twitter where they have to respond to all there friends, be available both online and on cell phone. To send 5 000 text messages or more per month isn't unusual for teenagers. With all this interactivity going on, and the noise present every where, when do they get a chance to know silence?

Find your one place of silence!

Think about where you can find silence. Your silence and where you find it is very personal. Remember that it takes a moment of silence to “hear” it and to be able to hear your thoughts or hear what your soul says.

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Comments 22 comments

Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

I enjoyed your hub. I live in a large city and it is rarely quiet - during a snowstorm it is lovely and quiet. When I visited my sister on her farm, I noticed the difference between my noisy life and her serene one.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden Author

Hi, Wife Who saves,I lived in a solitary house before, where it was really quit, so I know what you mean. Thanks for stopping by!


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

I often go days without speaking to another person or turning on the TV or radio.

Sometimes the ring of the telephone is seen as an intrusion.

My hubby is just the opposite. He has to have noise of some kind. He 'says' he likes the country life, but I suspect, it is just a place to store his stuff!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden Author

onegoodwoman, silence is a bit frightening for some, or give an unpleasant feeling. My husband is like yours, he say he love to spend time in the garden but he must have the radio on loud when he is, so loud that it also drowns all the sound from the machines he is using. Birdsong has no chance!

Sometimes it is good to let the brain rest from sounds! It is the only way to have a good converation with your self!

Your comments are always so interesting and thougthful, you can describe a bit of your life with a few words! I appreciate that you came by!


fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

Great Hub! Then also you have wrote about silence!! As you know I am agree with you: I love silence and I think that we can educate ourself and our child and teen agers to enjoy the silence. If someone hate the silence maybe is because has some problem with her/his intimate sphere, and it is worth understanding the origin of this hate.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden Author

fucsia, Yes I was happy to find your hub about silence because silence really are missing these days and many people dont think so much about it either. I think you are right about the problems some have with silence, it can be frightening without input and only have your self to talk too. Thanks for coming by and give my hub validation and your valuable thoughts on the matter!


Milli Thornton 4 years ago

Thank you for this passionate Hub. I felt as if you were speaking on my behalf. I treasure quiet and silence. Even though we keep our house much quieter than most, there is still too much noise for me.

For example, in the summer we run a ceiling blower at night to clear the rooms of the heat accumulated through the day. The blower is old and makes a grinding noise that keeps me from fully falling asleep. To counteract that, I run a "sound conditioner" that makes a noise I don't really like either, and it doesn't totally cover the sound of the blower--but at least it smooths out the harshest tones of the grinding.

I agree about the unpleasant shower of music everywhere you go. I would also add to that the intrusive habit of having TV screens in every corner of a restaurant and other public places.

During a recent trip we could not find anywhere to sit in the airport waiting lounge without being right underneath speakers that were constantly babbling the TV news from screens placed strategically in the lounge. We were tired and just wanted some respite from the stress of travel, but there was no escaping the noise.

Even in the park, where I go to try to get some peace, there are people blabbing loudly on cell phones or playing music that comes out of their earphones. I crave a silent day with only the sounds of nature (as long as it's not cicadas screaming at high pitch!).


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden Author

Milli Thornton, Yes, silent places are becoming very hard to find and sadly I think it is a growing problem. Some days I can endure all the noise better but some days it is really annoying. There is one store at the shopping center that is totally impossible for me to shop in, even though I like the clothes they are selling. Maybe they play loud music so people will buy without thinking, just grabbing something and get out of the shop fast! But I do think they miss many customers also. And the TV-screens! They are everywhere! Last time I visited the health center there was a TV on in the waiting room and there is no way to escape the sound. Silence is really hard to find, and when I find that special place it is almost as if time stops. It is very special. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it!

Tina


Milli Thornton 4 years ago

Tina, I'm always disappointed when I visit the chiropractor and his waiting room is filled with the sights and sounds of TV news. The room where they hook you up to electrodes designed to stimulate your muscles to relax is permeated by Top 40 music (instant earworm for me) and ads blabbing and blaring from the radio.

I consider the chiropractor to be alternative medicine . . . you would think a practitioner like that would be aware of the healing value of giving their patients a break from the evils of noise pollution. However, I know I'm way in the minority. Most other people don't seem bothered by it (perhaps because they keep their own houses tuned to the noise channel).


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden Author

I do agree Milli! I had a dentist who was constantly singing while he examined my teeth which was a very odd situation. And he didn't sing good either! Maybe it is time for us to ask them to turn off the constant noise and also stop singing themselves:))


Milli Thornton 4 years ago

LOL! I agree. Being trapped in the dentist's chair while subjected to scary and painful procedures should only be accompanied by softly-played relaxation music, not bad singing!


Milli Thornton 4 years ago

Tina, your Hub made such an impression on me, I've linked to it from my latest Hub. Thanks for the inspiration.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden Author

Milli, So true! I have another dentist now! I couldn't stand it:))


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden Author

Thanks Milli, I am so glad and thankful to hear that. That sounds interesting and

I am on my way to read your latest hub now!

Tina


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

A bit of silence is refreshing. I try to achieve some moments of silence during my days...most of the time I just have it while I'm asleep :)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

I grew up in the country and spent much of my adult life living in places where silence was easy to achieve. Now I find that it's difficult to find a quiet place...even in my own home there's the air conditioner or heat running and noise from the neighbors. How wonderful it is to go into the wilderness to camp or hike and just listen to sounds of the wind and the birds! I think we all need time to hear our own thoughts, and I feel sorry for people who never escape the constant noise of civilization! Love your hub!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

I live in the country so we do have a greater degree of silence than in the city, but can still hear trucks going past on the highway one mile away. That said, apart from an occasional hum of a fan during Summer and the dogs barking occasionally it is quiet. We listen to music or audio book occasionally but do appreciate the silence more often than not. Interesting hub, thanks for sharing.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

I agree with you that we live in constant noise and few moments of silence is necessary to rejuvenate ourselves.

Thought provoking and nicely done hub!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 2 years ago from Sweden Author

Hi Sunshine, Yes, it is difficult to get some moments during the day in silence and hopefully it is silent during nights. I am thrilled over the fact that my husband has stopped snoring:) Thanks Linda!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 2 years ago from Sweden Author

Stephanie, I agree with you, the wilderness and the nature are the best places to find silence and it is refreshing in all the daily noise around us. Maybe we need to plan for some silent time because it is a rarity these days. Thanks for the comment!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 2 years ago from Sweden Author

Hi Jodah, Good to hear that you don't live in a noisy world, at least not all the time. To be able to choose like you describe is worth so much. Thanks very much for sharing your view and the comment means so much to me,

Tina


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 2 years ago from Sweden Author

Hi ChitrangadaSharan, The constant noise affect us in the long run and it is important to seek silence now and then. I took a walk in the woods yesterday and even though I did hear some noise from a distance it was refreshing. Thanks for the visit and for the comment,

Tina

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