Sunday, August 07, 2005

Silence is Golden

On our morning ride, I couldn't help but notice (once again) all of the cyclists, joggers, and walkers carrying their portable music whatnots with wires extending from the whatnots to their ears.


Don't get me wrong, I think that music is great. I sing, whistle, and listen frequently. But silence is golden too. Sometimes it's nice to not have the distraction of a beat bouncing in your ears. You might hear birds chirping or the waves lapping the shore. You might be able to think a little differently, perhaps even better.


To me, at some point, most music transforms into annoying noise, even the good stuff, even the great Bocelli. I need to turn it off and lose myself in white noise periodically. During a marathon drive with Lady Bug two summers ago, I needed the occasional rest from music. For LB, this wasn't easy. After about twenty non-musical minutes, she was nigh unto ready to ram her head through the car window. By then, however, I was generally agreeable to spinning another CD; I simply needed a little break.


It's a generational thing, I suppose, but I wonder if that means that the younger set will need to forever have wires penetrating into their ears or whether they will change as they age. There's absolutely nothing wrong with walking or running to music. With the right tempo, it can be extremely helpful. I've done it; I know. I had a Mini Disc player until not long ago, and it was great to use on occasion. And, yes, I would love to have an iPod. I don't need an iPod, but I would love to play with one, rip the songs, upload the songs, and all of that sort of thing.


I'm not particularly saying anything negative about this ubiquitous, portable music. Rather, I am wondering about the apparent need of some to have it playing constantly. Perhaps they don't; perhaps it just seems that way.


 

10 comments:

Christi said...

If I were riding a bike or walking or pushing the stroller, no music allowed. However, if jogging or running, music is good to push you on. The beat in the music helps keep you in step and kinda gives you that dancing feeling that you need to run successfully. Of course, I haven't jogged in FOREVER, but that's what I used it for when I did!

Gina said...

You are right, sometimes "silence" is the only way to go.

Sometimes I wonder if the earbud thing is an unwillingness to interact with others. Similar to putting up a "closed" sign. They don't want to be bothered with people, and they can make sure that when they do want to talk, it is on their terms. Sounds a bit passive-aggressive to me.

kathy said...

Hi Anvilcloud

I remember when i was a teenager i had the radio on a lot...in my car or in my bedroom. now i find myself in my late 40's enjoying the no-noise. Right now, my car radio doesn't even work, and i don't even care! LOL sometimes i find myself listening to rock and stepping down on the accelerator in my car. :)

Dale said...

Mmmm-hmmm. Good post, AC. I agree with you. And with Kathy too. There's much to be heard outdoors. Wind. Traffic. Voices. A symphony of sounds. Why block it out with those silly earplugs? I say lose the personal music for a few minutes. And join the orchestra.

Keith, RN said...

Yes, I too listened to music non-stop as a youngster and rarely liked the quiet. My son is 22 and similar, I think. Now in my forties, I also like the quiet more. My car stereo was kaput from November til late July and I basically sang and talked to myself and listened to the hum of the car for over 6 months. Now I have a CD player in my new car and listen to alot of music, but must remind myself to treasure silence as well. That said, I am trying to balance the loud with the ambient in the car.

Sometimes, when in public, it's nice to be walled off from others. When my son went to Europe, though, I discouraged him from taking a disc-player as it can be an impediment to spontaneous interaction. He complained of long boring train rides and I recommended boredom as a way to grow and learn....

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I like the quiet. I played in bands, my dad had a band, we always have music available. When I am working I like the quiet.

Wash Lady said...

Sometimes I wonder if we keep the music constantly playing (or the TV going) because we are afraid of being alone with our "thoughts" without distractions.

Christi said...

I really like the quiet. I only keep the tv on when I'm watching it, and rarely listen to the radio. However, my hubby listens to the radio all the time, and ALWAYS has the tv on...even to go to sleep! It's rather annoying at times. However, I notice that he doesn't ever really go into deep thoughts on anything...maybe you have a point, WashLady.

Mel said...

I've thought the exact same thing lately. I prefer the sound of quietness, which doesn't happen too often around here!

Lora said...

I don't think it's a generational thing at all. Some people are just more comfortable listening to the sounds around them and to their own thoughts than others. I love music, but I need to shut it off sometimes so that I can just be me.