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Silence imagined

Michaela's picture

In a time when I feel like I'm always plugged in or listening to something, silence to me looks like taking a moment to unplug the headphones, close my eyes, and stop everything for a moment. Media, music, television, movies--pervasive, addicting, wonderful, distracting?  Cutting myself off from the information flow can be annoying--I don't really like the feeling of having my earbuds in without any sounds filtering through them, and it makes me feel vulnerable to be removed from any sensory input with my eyes shut as well. But the feeling is only temporary, and I can listen to the world without the earbuds, to the (relative) quiet of my hall and the crickets dancing outside my window. Which of these is more silent, I wonder? Does letting in the natural noise of our surroundings, or not listening to anything at all, better represent silence? I guess I'd say that earbuds with no sounds is more silent, but, at least for me, much more uncomfortable than sitting quietly in my room and listening to my fingers tapping the keys, the conversations of my hallmates, and all the "noise" that is produced in nature, that I can never turn off.