An Experiment in Silence Day 5

Note: I decided to give up aural media for two weeks. This meant I would mute music, films, TV, YouTube, audiobooks and other media at all times. The point was to minimize unnecessary junk entering my ears in my daily life.

The past few days were difficult. It was fairly easy to stay away from media at first, but then I started slipping. Songs were still playing in my head. By now I had gotten used to them. The gym radio was annoying, but funny at the same time. Prince is a great artist, but his music did not facilitate my workout. The café where I occasionally have breakfast played the same songs they usually do on repeat. I had forgotten my headphones and was forced to listen to them. At home, I listened to a few YouTube videos, but in my defence they were guides to new software I got for work. What was unforgivable was that I soon went back to my old ways of watching other useless videos and wasting time. Hopefully this will not happen again.

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There were actual withdrawal symptoms. A constant urge in the back of my head reminded me of what I was missing. The mind began to construct arguments for why background music would be helpful: work might be more efficient, there would be less procrastination, and so on. It would have been difficult to get to sleep had I not felt so exhausted by work and other activities. All this reminded me that the smallest habits can be the hardest to break. I decided to go on despite everything even though I no longer think the experiment will achieve anything or cause anything but annoyances and pointless anxiety. If there was one single thing that promised otherwise, it was that I did not feel the need to use noise-cancelling as much. This would suggest that my tolerance to noise grew when the overall amount of noise went down. Perhaps, then, we should think of noise sensitivity in terms of a bulk amount of exposure to noise that builds up to a point where any further noise becomes unbearable. We will see.

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