‘Silence please’ is a phrase I hear about a thousand times each day. While that may be an exaggeration, you get my drift, right? Lately however I have realized that for me, silence is overrated. I don’t like a silent classroom, I don’t like the silence in the corridors when students are on leave and I most certainly don’t like silence when I’m at home.
To me this feels like a new-age problem, brought on, I believe, because of a culmination of several things. My job, my lifestyle, my friends and to an extent the time I spend online. Whenever I’m under-stimulated, such as in a quiet environment, I become instantly bored or very very lazy.
Luckily there isn’t much quietness in my life. Life is mostly noisy. I’m sitting outside a Starbucks right now there are families walking by, couples laughing and little children enjoying their evening out. I can hear a low hum of freeway traffic in the distance and some industrial moans from the crane across the parking lot as labourers work tirelessly in their evening shifts to add another imposing structure to the Sharjah skyline. Strangely, all of this is just the right amount of noise to keep the quiet away without distracting me.
I find that I am more creative and productive when there’s human background noise, such as in a coffee shop or at work each day. The trick with background noise is that I’m not interested in hearing individual conversations. I just enjoy the muffled hum of activity.
Don’t get me wrong, I love quiet solitude in proper doses too. Too little is stressful. Too much is its own kind of stress. When I need to focus for long periods of time on a solo task, I need some sort of background noise. I often play the same couple of albums over and over at low volume – but coffee shops work best! This is just me, take it for what you will.
OK then time to wrap up, I need to head home before the Barista’s decide to pour me a re-fill. Good night y’all!