No – this blog entry is not about librarians.

But it is about quiet – or the lack of it.  There are so many options to fill up any silences – those in my head and in my surroundings.

My husband is the type of person who enjoys the quiet.  He does not need a radio playing or a constant flow of entertainment flowing into his ears and head.  He spends time thinking.  In the quiet.  No need to fill up the quiet because there really is nothing wrong with it.

Not me.  I tend to fill up the silence – often with multiple devices.  Laptop.  TV. Ipod.  Kindle.  Netflix.  Cell phone.  (No Ipad yet…)

More and more,  I see a people entering or exiting  my workplace with their eyes directed down towards their phone rather than any eye contact or a smile at the person walking past.   Email or Facebook cannot wait.  (Sadly, I am one of these people.)

I live in a culture that enjoys these multiple options for entertainment – always streaming in, passively accepting the noise that comes with whatever device/s is chosen.   Before our current data storage capabilities, when I was younger – the new TV shows would have two times for watching: the Fall season, and the re-runs in the Spring.  If you missed those two times – there were no available playbacks for later.  Or not until much much later.  No TIVO, VHS, DVD, Netflix, or Internet – you just missed it if you didn’t sit down at the right time in front of your TV. Now, it seems nothing  is lost and instead, there is just more and more.

In my parents’ generation and even in my childhood – there was the far more deliberate choice to turn something ON.  Now – it seems an effort to turn anything OFF.

It’s not that I think that all options are inherently bad – or that passive entertainment is always a bad thing.  It’s more that it seems constant and unless I make a deliberate choice to pause the media so I can hear the silence, I won’t.

Step away from the electric devices – a little bit each day.  Yeah – I’m going to work on that.

(NOTE- I cannot and will not try to exercise on treadmill in silence!)

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