Why Is There So Much Noise?

And the rain came pouring down again yesterday evening. Out of the bright sunshine came puffy bulbous clouds and then the downpour.

I have learned lately that looking at the weather report online is not very accurate. It can say no rain, but Mother Nature begs to differ. And yet again she did just that.

Of course I had already thoroughly watered the patio garden. Twice in fact. Because the plants were drooping and dry. And because there was no real possibility of rain in the forecast all week.

I love rain. Even as a child I looked forward to darkening skies and rumbling thunder. I wasn’t old enough to understand the severity of tornadoes in my part of the country.

I just knew that I liked the ambiance that a storm brought. It felt cozy in my little house, watching the lightning light up the night and zigzag across the windows.

I felt calmest during the times adults felt most frightened. Of course I’ve lived close to tornadoes, but never been right in their path. So I know I’d look at it differently had I been in the actual eye of a damaging storm.

I was just a little girl though. Who opened books and pretended I knew how to read. I read to my dolls and the dogs and cats.

And long before I knew how to write words, I was writing gibberish on pieces of paper, thinking what a great story I was telling.

That was a long time ago. I can now of course open books and let them take me on a journey. And I can sit here and write to all of you and know my words actually convey something.

The world has changed so much in my lifetime. Seems to me that people were once more solicitous of others. Children were hushed when they got out of hand in public. People talked on phones inside the privacy of their homes and no one else had to hear them.

Now there’s virtually nowhere I can go where I don’t have to listen to multiple conversations, many times all going on at the same time. It stresses me. Not just because it’s hard to filter out. But also because it’s bad manners and not many people seem to care about that anymore.

Yeah, I know I’ve said all this before. It’s a particularly virulent pet peeve of mine.

Being able to shop from home has been my salvation. I can’t think when I have to move from aisle to aisle just to get away from everyone talking on phones at the same time.

Till finally I’m out on the sidewalk, blinking in the sun. With nothing to show for my trip.

Thank goodness now much of the time they’re texting and I’m left in peace.

Did you know that noise pollution is considered one of the biggest health hazards worldwide?

Studies have shown that people who live or work in loud environments are particularly susceptible to many alarming problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and low birth weight.

Then there are all the physical, cognitive, and emotional issues that arise from being too distracted to focus on complex tasks and from never getting enough sleep.

And the noise that we produce doesn’t harm only us. Scientists have begun to document the effects of human-generated sound on non-humans—effects that can be as devastating as those of more tangible forms of ecological desecration.

Les Blomberg, the founder and executive director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, based in Montpelier, Vermont, says, “What we’re doing to our soundscape is littering it. It’s aural litter—acoustical litter.

And, if you could see what you hear, it would look like piles and piles of McDonald’s wrappers, just thrown out the window as we go driving down the road.”

Taken from an article in The New Yorker, Is Noise Pollution The Next Big Public Health Crisis? (May 2019)

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18 Comments

  1. Something I found surprising is how much noise pollution actually takes place WITHIN our homes. Noise we may not even be aware of. Buzzing appliances, humming electronics, traffic and aircraft noise that permeates inside our homes,

    I’ve noticed our fridge is a great noise contributor as the ice maker shuts off and on to fill with water and then later drops ice into the tray.

    Even ceiling fans that seem quiet can hum.

    One article mentioned that If you’re not convinced that electronics make a lot of noise, wait for your next power outage. The absence of noise can be quite jarring.

  2. I can tolerate the noise. I’ve always been able to block it out… but I do enjoy times at home, in the car, etc with the radio or tv off and just the silence of my thoughts! My bf and I took a road trip yesterday and the radio was off the entire time! Fabulous!

    I love your patio Brenda! Always so inviting. Where did you get the “head/face” planter? I love it!

  3. I am so glad always to hear other folks are unhappy or annoyed with public behavior these days. Was in ChicFilet last week with 2 grandsons..sitting outside the playroom where I could watch them..these two young church ladies were talking loudly about proper way of serving in the church..as I could overhear..not wanting to..so crazy.. I was thinking if I had to listen to one of them..I would certainly not attend.. Then all of a sudden..that Lady loudly banged on the window to the playground (she was too lazy to get up and go in there)…. started yelling at one of children..scared me to death…I looked around and many others were also amazed at her behavior..looking back..I wish I had spoken up…but its not my nature…my favorite saying is “Peace, a Choice…Walk A-Way”… I did not make my Grands leave due to crazychurchladies…..but if alone..I would have immediately left the building, like Elvis.. :0( .. Sad…where were these folks when common sense and manners were taught… Have a blessed week…

  4. I love the peace and quiet. It is very quiet where I live and so enjoy it.
    These people who walk around with a telephone stuck in their ear drive me crazy, How do they find so much to talk about????
    I love your patio, It is so beautiful.
    Hope Charlie and Ivy are doing good and that Charlie is feeling better.
    Have a wonderful day

  5. The older I get, the more peace and quiet I crave. Yesterday we were on a day trip and went into a restaurant for lunch. The music was blasting. We could barely hear each other talk across the table. Granted, this was more of a hip, pub place but still…

    I’ve always wondered how people talking on the phones while they’re grocery shopping can even manage to get anything done or concentrate on what they’re trying to shop for. My phone is put away when I shop. My phone rarely rings, anyway. If anyone is calling me, it’s either a spam call, an emergency, or the doctor/vet.

  6. Oh, this post reminded that I recently went to my local library and it was SO noisy! When did that become ok? SIgh. Thank you, my kind friend, for your blog hosting advice. I have found a solution for which I am thankful.

  7. I’m fairly tolerant of noise, but not at all of rudeness. Twice in the last week, I was “assaulted” by people speaking loudly on their cell phones – in a beauty salon, a woman wasn’t just talking, she was VERY LOUD. Actually did private financial business for all the salon to hear. She had to be on the phone about an hour. Today, same thing in a nail salon, a woman was on the phone the entire time I was there. I just don’t get it. I do love a good rain storm, too, as long as I’m snug at home.

  8. My husband and I moved to a small beach town on the shores of Lake Huron last November. About 1/2 of the population resides here only during the summer. Our block is a smattering of full timers and summer cottages. We’re three houses from the beach.
    It’s so peaceful during fall and winter, I was rather dreading warm weather and with it, the influx of humanity. My imagination was filled with screaming kids, inattentive parents, loud music, etc.
    Oh my, how wrong I was! It’s an absolute joy to see the children outside playing happily, occupying themselves with bicycles, yard games, hopscotch, building sandcastles on the beach, pulling out lawn chairs and engaging in conversations with one another. Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows with their parents in the evening.
    Everyday I see friends, neighbors and couples out biking or walking together, chatting and perhaps catching up from the long months apart. People of all ages strolling along the beach searching for rocks and shells, buckets in tow, filled with found treasures.
    What a contrast from suburbia with all its traffic, clutter and noise pollution. (Blasting music, car exhaust and cell phone conversations drive me mad and make me sick!)
    I’m surprised and delighted to see such simple pastimes alive and well with parents dedicated to giving their children a chance to experience it. Surely they’re leading busy lives at home but summer cottage life means slowing down and having fun.
    Isn’t it uplifting?

  9. Our offices sit on the 2nd floor above a busy Main Street and there is always a full-on assault of noise. Add to that the music the guys play in the office and I love to come home to a quiet place.
    Hope you have a wonderful night- xo Diana

  10. Interesting tho’ts on noise pollution. I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood so I don’t notice a lot o noise at home. I do hear sirens occasionally, though. Oh, yes, then there’s that blankety-blank police helicopter that lies over every now and then. And driving anywhere in the city there is the tra__ic noise. I live in a rather small city so noise is probably less than where you are. As to people on cell phones in stores, I guess I tune them out pretty well and go on about my business although I do think it is rude to expose everyone to your private conversations. It is worrying, though, that our noise pollution is doing damage to nature. Just one more thing to degrade our precious planet.

    By the way, you are allowed to have pet peeves! One o_ mine is the way baggers bag groceries, either packing them too heavy or putting only one thing in a bag or packing cold things in various bags instead o_ together so they stay cold. I think I bitch about it almost every time I shop! I know I could bag my own and sometimes I do, but I hate those check-yoursel_- out machines talking to me. Plus I’m usually tired by the time I get done shopping and I just want someone else to do the work checking me out and bagging my groceries. I pay enough _or the _ood I _igure I deserve it! Anyhow, we all have our pet peeves i_ we’re honest I suspect. I’m getting pretty peeved right now that my keyboard won’t type the sixth letter o_ the alphabet!

    Wishing you a sunny, temperate day tomorrow. And mysel_, too!

  11. Brenda, I used to love the rainy days too…if not too many in a row. But since I have an old basement…not so much any more. I hate noise and so does one of my daughters we seem to be noise sensitive. I do not like barking dogs….I always think they need trained or entertained. Like walks and play time…I blame the owners. LOL. I love animals though. I hate noises I can not pin point. Irritating erratic noises. I do not mind trains flying down the track…that noise comes quick and goes . Your patio is looking so pretty and welcoming. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  12. Here in SC were in got a week of storms and rain. For the past two nights the skies have opened up and dumped so much rain ! Our weather forecast has been spot on… lots of rain, heat and humidity… not pleasant but nothing we can do but grin and bear it.

  13. Great post. Like you I prefer and need a lot of silence (though I listen to a lot of music in my downtime, too). I was thinking this week about all the noise assaults when shopping and how ordering online would benefit me, too. I just left a job that converted to a noisy open environment (phones ringing loudly were especially assaulting to my senses). My coworkers did not understand the amount of trauma one can feel and the company made the change without any concern for mitigating the effects of noise and inrerruptions on work. Thankful that my home tends to be very quiet…a refuge I need. Keep writing! I’m listening.

  14. I’m sure you already know this and do it, but I’ve been thinking about your poor wilting plants. When you water, do you water down the patio floor really good? Sometimes that helps cool off the plants above it. Also, if you can, the fence behind them…any hard surface around them. Maybe we’ll get a reprieve from the horrific heat!

  15. What you wrote about cell phones, and people yapping, constantly, sometimes too loudly,, no matter where, the grocery store, the mall (where I stay away from ), walking the sidewalks…I agree with you 100%. We go out with another couple on Saturday afternoon, for lunch and for a couple drinks, and even then, other people who are together, sit and talk on their phones to somebody else, or are playing games or something, I don’t know why…. Husband and I do not own a cell phone, we don’t need it, we have our land line. I know we are old school, but I like it that way, just fine. Peace and Quiet, I again, agree with you 100%.. Hugs from WI, it’s 69 degrees now, and going to get up to 76. It is humid here, poured like crazy all night long…but at least the sun is shining now.

  16. One time I quietly sat on outside bench owned by the mall. I was waiting for my ride. The woman next to me started yelling that I was interrupting her private phone conversation. I pointed out that 1/ she was in public on a busy walk way 2/ she didn’t own the bench we were sharing. She kept yelling at me. I kept on sitting.

  17. I am another one who is bothered by too much noise!! Sure glad the fireworks are over!! This apt we moved to in May tends to stay very quiet however and I am so much enjoying that. On the side we live on, we cannot even hear the street noise which is so much the better!!

  18. I love your blog. Please keep being you. This is my first time emailing. One of my pet peeves is seeing young parents staring at their phones instead of conversing with their children. What missed opportunities for both the parents and the children. I see this in restaurants, while they are pushing a stroller or just shopping.

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