Thursday, June 7, 2018

Background noise

I think I've become addicted to noise. It occurred to me today that I always have a podcast playing, or music, or the TV is playing something in the background. And I think it is impairing my ability to be creative, and probably my ability to think in general.

I used to write all the time, and when I wasn't writing, I would be thinking about my characters and plot holes and my next project. Now I just listen to background noise, and I imagine my brain, if plotted on some brain-plotty machine, would show a relatively flat line. I can't think of words... I can't follow a conversation... I can't resolve problems like I used to... I have almost constant anxiety... I can't sleep at night unless I have my phone on low playing whale sounds or rainy forest sounds. I used to feel ahead of the game and now I'm constantly playing catch-up. Maybe I've had a stroke, but I feel it's more likely I've allowed my brain to go into permanent retirement mode.

Resolution (day 1): Put down the fucking phone and listen to the birds, and the wind in the trees, and the train off in the distance. Think about maybe picking up a pen and writing something again.


  1. I cannot have background noise when I work or try to sleep.

    Good resolution.

  2. I've had way more anxiety in my 50s (obviously). I had an interesting conversation with someone recently in which he talked about listening to podcasts helping with his anxiety, because it took him out of negative thought patterns. I can't WORK with music or voices, unless it's so much that it's moved into white noise (coffee shops, maybe). But yes, listen to the birds! I never have a podcast on when I'm on a walk.

  3. I am a little like you. I am reading blogs and writing this listening to a podcast interview with a comedian/actor I really love! Not giving either enough attention.

    Music soothes, and is a good background for me. Podcasts do not. There's a difference, I think. Though I do listen to audiobooks these days when walking (it's my exercise). I get enough bird noise when sitting/standing/photographing peacefully on my deck.

  4. I'm not addicted to background noise, but I feel like my brain is doing the same thing in terms of not being able to follow a conversation, failing to come up with the right words, lacking problem-solving skills, etc. I'm hoping it's something to do with my brain having been rewired by my incessant jumping from site to site on the internet--which means it can be rewired back to a less-distracted, more functional mode--rather than reflecting some sort of age-related cognitive decline.

  5. I don't have background noise most of the time, but like Helen I can relate to much of the rest of your post. I think our use of the internet plays a big role in this. In my case, I've always been easily distracted, and the older I get the worse it gets. I guess this describes "absentminded" old people.

    I'm with you on your resolution, as I accomplish relatively little these days. Even though my phone never comes out of my purse.


Catching up day 3

May 21, 2018 My grandparents were the first people I knew to own a microwave oven. Theirs was brown*, had a tiny wind...