I live in Colorado and have small children at home and a job where I am constantly bombarded with noise.
I often find myself outdoors in search of peace, solitude and the quiet sounds of nature – for my mental health.
I am dismayed by the proliferation of Bluetooth speakers large and small. They seem to be everywhere! Hiking trails, lakes, on boats and paddleboards, by the pool, camping, even buckled up while biking and skiing! Few seem concerned about the noise nuisance they cause to others around them.
Why do people not seem to notice or care that the people around them may not want to listen to the music they choose?
What happens when we have multiple, conflicting speakers at the same time?
I wish I could ask people to use headphones when they’re alone, or at least turn the sound down so it’s heard primarily by a group in a small radius and not by everyone around them.
When running or cycling, for the safety of yourself and those around you, you should only wear one earbud and turn the volume down to low.
Is there a respectful way to ask people to either turn down or turn off their music so that those of us who want quiet can also share the space?
What do you think?
– Not musically inclined
Dear Sir or Madam, not inclined:
I have lived on this earth so long that I have experienced two manifestations of this problem – first in the 70s/80s with the advent of the mighty “boombox” and now with the proliferation of personal Bluetooth speakers.
Back in the boombox era, cities began adopting and enforcing noise ordinances (particularly on public transportation). This and the rise of the Walkman seemed to finally bring about the sounds of silence.
None of us could have imagined that we would look back on the last three decades as happy days of relative calm.
Like you, I don’t understand the urge to share your music with strangers (perhaps readers will comment), and yet they do – adding to more noise in an already noisy world.
Yes, there is a polite way to ask someone to turn their music down (“Would you mind turning your music down?”). And yet – the important question you need to answer for yourself is whether this is safe.
It seems that people who play music in public find ways to dominate the room, and it’s not always wise to embrace that kind of dominance.
Your city and local park system may see fit to adopt (or enforce) rules regarding noise pollution. You would be doing your neighbors a favor if you represented this issue to these governing bodies.
My husband and I have seven adult children: two are his, four are mine, and one is “ours.” Everyone is estranged at this time.
I drafted my will so that the estate would be divided equally among the children who can prove that they have had contact with me in the last six months.
This can be through phone records or text messages or word of mouth from others. Alienation is an illness in my family.
My grandfather had become estranged from his family.
My mother was estranged from me, her only child. And now it has affected my children.
None of this is my choice, but those who are alienated will not be rewarded.
– My last wishDear my last wish:
“Alienation is a disease in my family.”
What a tragic event.
My assumption is that there is no specific reason for this generational alienation, but rather that isolating others is your family’s way of dealing with intense emotions.
You have become estranged from your mother, and therefore your children have not witnessed how parent and child navigated the ups and downs of a relationship, resolved conflicts, and forgave each other.
Your attempt to solve this problem by trying to control your children through your will seems to be a superficial solution to a deep problem. A therapist could help you find other ways to undo your legacy of alienation.
Like others, I disagree with your response to “A lying waiter,” the man who said that the restaurant would only serve decaf coffee regardless of what people ordered.
I need caffeine. And when I order caffeinated coffee, I assume I’ll get it.
Now I know you advocate lying.
Dear Sir or Madam, to be honest:
I’ve confirmed this lie, and readers are pretty nervous about it.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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