Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Collateral Noise

I've been told not to blog about collateral noise, the term I've come to use for the sound that emanates from ear buds and headphones cranked up to a Spinal Tap eleven. I've been told not to get so upset about it, to take it easy and just calm down because it's not such a big deal. Don't you hate it when someone tells you to calm down? I especially hate it when it comes to this noise, because it's so tinny, so persistent, so grating. I work in a library and I travel by subway and while I don't expect silence on the subway -- especially when I'm there with my kids -- I also don't expect that I'll have to listen to someone else's playlist. Ditto at the library. But it's worse there since the room is supposed to be quiet. Really, it's infuriating. Granted, I may be a little extra sensitive to the sound, but the sound is, objectively speaking, awful. Did I mention it's tinny? So tinny. I can't bear it. I know it should be the worst of my problems, but it's my problem right now and I can't find it's source. I'll have to move and hope for the best.


Ana said...

Actually, I do not think you should try to suppress your complaints about collateral noise (I'm glad to have something to call it). I think you should make a deal of it in an amusing small-kid-friendly way so that there's some hope your kids will catch on that it's unacceptable before they get their own iPods and earbuds and begin bombarding their eardrums so that you have to constantly say things like, "Hey . . . I can hear your music. Be careful, okay? Turn it down." This might, just possibly, if it works (which I acknowledge it might not), save you from having to worry that they'll need hearing aids before they're even out of their teens.

Nicole said...

I think I was at least one of the people who told you to "calm down" about collateral noise (and I told you even though I know you hate all forms of the "calm down" command), but I am with you on the library exception: no collateral noise allowed there!!!

Robin Aronson said...

Maybe by the time my kids are old enough for iPods they won't be cool anymore? I can't believe these kids in the library can hear ANYTHING, can often hear the noise from three tables away! awful. I'm glad you're with my on the library exception -- o nthe subway, really, what can you do, but the library- it's awful.