Saturday, August 11, 2007

iPod Noise Pollution

The Associated Press has distributed a story that describes iPod Noise Pollution as a product of two phenomena. The first is fairly typical, anonymity:
Like the cell phone, the iPod and other music players can foster a sense of apathy when the user is among strangers. It's easier to blow off social norms -- and channel Justin Timberlake during rush hour -- when you don't know who you're irritating. (para 16)
The other source for iPod Noise Pollution is perception. We imagine that these media devices are excessively loud because many of us have come to expect a much quieter aural environment. The article quotes Wired magazine's Leander Kahney:
Our world, he said, has become freakishly quiet. "It's not noise pollution -- it's noise absence. And I find it almost more disturbing and upsetting than I did loud noise. It's sort of unnatural." (para. 9)
The article concludes that a gentle tap on the shoulder generally serves as an effective request for strangers playing their iPods too loud to turn the volume down.

Of course, it might also be useful to anonymously slip these folks a Why Do You Do That Note, as in Why do you play loud music in public places?.

Read the whole story: Hey you, with the iPod...keep it down!

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