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Thread: Artificial noise and light bombardment

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  1. #1
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Artificial noise and light bombardment

    This weekend I was alone in the house. I did not turn on the TV or computer, did check email on the phone. But I got to thinking how much we have altered our natural environment.

    Quietly listening to the birds and other wildlife during nesting season here, I often could hear buzzing from the fridge, phone ringing and so on. In the distance I can hear cars and trucks, although I live on a quiet side street. There are little lights everywhere, everything is lit up with little dots or led displays to show if they are working, the time or on.

    So my question is, how much effect do you think this has on our ability to rest and concentrate, on the stimulation this all brings, and our memory for instance. A quick search on google answers any question before you have to think at all. I was thinking of kids who may have never been in complete quiet or darkness.

    Just my quiet weekend contemplation

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    When DH and I spent 3 days in a monastery, what was shocking to us was how unsettling the quiet was, simply because we weren't used to it!! I had never experienced such quiet, and we were in nature--the monks had sheep and there were certainly plenty of nature sounds, but without the buzzes and hums and all the other technological intrusions we typically have in our life, it was really quite an experience. It actually freaked DH out a little--like withdrawal from a drug.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    We had an adult houseguest this weekend. He lives in a city. The first morning he appeared ten hours after he went to bed. With very large eyes and a soft voice he informed me “it’s so quiet here.”

    right now now I can hear the fridge running, the clock ticking, the woodstove making thermal expansion noises and the air rush of the reburn function, the occasional bird or goat... and dh playing the guitar.

    i just smiled and said “yeah.”

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I have lived in the city and country and after awhile I adjusted to the noise level or lack of it. I have never been one to have constant noise such as tv or radio on.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I have lived in the city and country and after awhile I adjusted to the noise level or lack of it. I have never been one to have constant noise such as tv or radio on.
    I don't think flowers is talking about getting used to city vs country or needing TV or radio on. I think it's the "background noise" of the 20th and 21st century that we're not even aware of most of the time. And I do think it distracts from calming influence of real skies without light pollution and real sounds of bird chirps and leaves rustling.

    I, too, was mesmerized the first night I spent in VT where I felt like I was underneath a planetarium dome--that analogy itself speaks to the fact that up till then my only experience under a starry sky was in a simulation of what a starry sky should look like.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Hubby likes ambient noise, aka a radio or tv on always. Not me!

    Current noises: two snoring dogs, clicking of computer mouse from hubs, washing machine and dryer, fridge, and sometimes the a/c - Florida!

    I have so many digital / electronic things with lighted displays. We had the cable tv guy turn off the cable box display. He couldn't disable the router lights, and it needs to be "out" in the room for the signal, so it glows always. I have black tape over some lights, too. Currently my fridge and dishwasher "done" light provide enough (too much) light at night. The thermostat wakes up when you walk past. The bathroom light switch has a small bulb in it. I rarely have darkness, and it bothers me!

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    So does anyone think it has anything to do with some of the problems people are experiencing? Sleep and eating disorders? Depression? Attention deficit?

    We have only had electric lights for 130 years and other electrical inventions followed. Cars appeared on the scene about that time. So much change in so little time.

    The other night i was I was on a plane. I looked out the window and marveled at the stars, like when I was a kid. We were above the cloud cover and there was no moon. It was amazing.

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    The hum of the fridge and my cat giving herself a bath on my lap. That's it

    Yes, I think the artificial noise and light is a huge problem in our culture. Big city people never see nature.....I can't imagine a life without the moon and stars. I love my early morning drive to work when the moon is large and low. And then I turn north and it's behind me.........

  9. #9
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I remember many years ago when my mother stayed out here in the country to watch our children for the night, while we were out of town. She said "It was sooooo dark and quiet".
    That's what I love about living out here and actually become irritated when the one neighbor rides his motocross cycle through his woods, or the wind blows the traffic in this direction.
    Nature.....that's all I want to hear..........the breeze through the pines, the birds, the bees humming.........it's paradise. Oh yes....and nighttime in the summer with the window opened......the tree frogs, the owls. the cricket, the katydids. It's a symphony! And when the moon is full I like to open the drapes when I sleep, and the light shines into my room, I feel like I'm sleeping in the forest. I love the incredible treasures this planet has.

  10. #10
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    When the local library remodeled they added a glass-walled corner section that is the Quiet Room. The only thing you can do in there is read - no talking, no electronic devices. It's a small section of the 2 floor library, but when I've walked past there's only been 1 or 2 people in there. I don't know if it's because the absolute quiet is too unnerving to some, or it's just not the reason some patrons go to the library, or what.
    It also made me wonder how many of us have never experienced a stretch of quiet like that.

    Also years ago I saw a TV show about a prison warden who enforced a 2 hour quiet time every afternoon. As I recall, at first the inmates were furious because they couldn't talk (although they could play cards, read, etc.) but it was something the warden felt necessary to calm the place down. I can only imagine that living in a place with a constant din would be contributing to anger. I never found out what the result of that was, I'd be curious to know.

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