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What Can You Do About Noise Pollution?
Searching for 'The Sound of Silence'
Are You Ultra Sensitive to Noise?
If you're one of the many folks who avoid noise at all costs, it could be that you have exceptionally good hearing. You'll go out of your way to avoid firework displays, large gatherings of people and concerts which others find enjoyable. And God forbid if a toddler in the supermarket lets off an ear-piercing scream! You're sometimes viewed as boring or unsociable but you just want peace and quiet to preserve your sanity and need to be better understood. You'll never choose an abrupt ringtone or alarm that startles you; it will be a placid tune with softly tweeting birds that doesn't disturb your equilibrium!
Apparently, Music is Just Orgainised Noise!
The modern world is sadly not conducive to peace and quiet and those who prefer to be surrounded with less noise are often frowned upon as "party-poopers" or "fuddy-duddys". Even a seemingly innocuous trip to the cinema nowadays can be a breach of the peace in the eyes of those with more sensitive ears. "Surround sound" assaults them from every angle with all the ferocity of a sizeable earthquake. Sitting at the rear of the cinema does little to help and they'll long to be back home where at least they can turn the volume down on their TV.
Noise in the wrong place can be intensely irritating whatever the volume; even a dripping tap or a ticking clock causes issues with some. There are those who have been known to be offended by someone else's breathing - let alone snoring. For these poor folk, the only solution is to spend frequent quality time alone in an isolated spot. They would make ideal hermits but can't be blamed for their love of silence.
How many mothers have begged for peace, quiet and tranquillity from their raucous offspring and never got it? Noise is part of family life; babies will always cry, toddlers have tantrums and kids continually squabble but the modern day housewife also has to battle with a constant background of banal banter from daytime TV and noise from computer games- no wonder children rarely learn to appreciate silence.
There is also the proverbial dispute between noisy neighbours who have little respect for the "quiet enjoyment" others should have from their property. This alone is cause for contention in properties the world over. Land is at a premium and there are too many people vying for the same space. Quiet in the future will become a rarer and perhaps an even unobtainable commodity.
There can be no compromise between noisy folk and the quiet. The only way they can share living space is to be there at different times. Imagine the horrors of sharing with a roommate who reckons he is the next violin prodigy.
Modern technology is noisy, rude and relentless. It is an interruption and an intrusion. The abrupt awakening of the alarm, the ping of the microwave, the spin of the washer. Then your mobile rings, the doorbell sounds and all you crave is that ever elusive quiet life. There is nothing worse than a barrage of different sounds bombarding you all in one go. The phone will always ring at the exact moment you're beginning to clean your teeth and you end up just wanting the whole world to go away.
Peace lovers will appreciate the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shore or the chirring of crickets at dusk. They will never desire the thump of the disco or the primal beat of a pop concert when more subtle sounds will suffice. To live the quiet life you'll need to revert to the sounds of nature which are rarely irritating or jarring to the senses.
Silence can be shattered in an instant; that golden moment lost forever with the flick of a switch. Noise in its basest form can fray the nerves of those with even the most placid of temperaments. Dealing with the decibel level is by no means easy and extricating yourself is often the only option. Unfortunately, it's a price that must be paid - for living in this modern era.
Outside Noise Can be Just as Bad as Inside Noise!
Soothing 'white noise' of an even frequency is supposed to be relaxing but this 'water therapy' in the YouTube video below is definitely not for those who need to go for a wee with any frequency! There are many different types of music to set the mood and what works for one person probably won't work for another. Always remember when living in close confines with others, any music can be intensely irritating if it's played too loud.
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What would you do if your neighbour was playing loud music?
Beneficial 'White Noise' to Help You Sleep
Some Points to Address If Noise is an Ongoing Problem
- Stay calm and voice your opinions if your neighbour is making noise of an unacceptable level at inappropriate times on more than one occasion. This includes barking dogs, loud music, arguing, DIY at late hours and almost everything apart from the crying of a baby or the screams of a toddler which no one has any control over.
- If no change is apparent you may need to contact the environmental health so that they can come and monitor the situation.
- Some neighbourhoods are continually noisy due to busy traffic, rail links and proximity to airports. Many people adapt to noise levels more than others but if you want a quiet life, you're unlikely to find it in the city unless you have sound- proofed walls and triple glazing!
- Try to determine which noises in particular aggravate you the most. Some noises can be soothing; the drone of a lawnmower on a sunny afternoon is one example but most noises are annoying and distracting. When you want to relax and enjoy some well earned peace and quiet, noise can raise stress levels to breaking point.
© 2014 Stella Kaye