Does noise bother you? Or do you prefer silence? We often think of noise as a nuisance, but we might also consider its effect on our minds and bodies.
In Real Simple, Leslie Yazel writes: “New York may be the capital of noise, but it hardly has the market cornered.” At one time, the writer lived in Iowa and Texas, where there were fewer buses but more loud motorcycles. Today, new research shows that noise pollution can negatively impact our health, while also affecting our children’s cognitive performance.
We’re used to hearing everyday sounds. Loud music, the television, people talking on their phone, the traffic, and even pets barking in the middle of the night. It’s part of our culture and these sounds rarely disturb us. But, when the sound of the television keeps you from sleeping all night, or the traffic starts to give you a headache, it stops becoming just noise and starts turning into noise pollution.
Noise pollution takes place when there is either an excessive amount of noise or an unpleasant sound that causes temporary disruption in the natural balance. This definition is usually applicable to sounds or noises that are unnatural in either their volume or their production. We can’t escape noise; even electrical appliances at home have a constant hum or beeping sound.
Harvey Fierstein: Actually, I think the average voice is like 70 percent tone and 30 percent noise. My voice is 95 percent noise.
Noise pollution is caused by a variety of factors, including poor urban planning (fighting over parking; congested housing), social events (weddings, loud music), transportation (large number of vehicles on the road), construction activities, and household chores (kitchen gadgets). While this form of pollution may seem harmless, it in fact has far reaching consequences. The adverse effects on the health of the environment are quite severe. Not only is the local wildlife affected by the pollution, humans also face a number of problems due to it. The obvious effects of noise pollution include hearing problems, health issues, and sleeping disorders.
But really, in a busy, noisy world, it is our connections with one another that help reduce the effects of noise pollution. Do you agree?