We live in a society consumed by noise. We live in a TV-watching, computer humming, iPhone vibrating, car honking, clock ticking, music playing society. Think about it. When is the last time you’ve driven somewhere without music? Cooked a meal without watching TV? Waited for your computer to load without checking your phone?
Nowadays, the Earth is a loud place—in terms of noise, for sure, but also in terms of sights. I can’t drive down a highway without being bombarded with flashy billboard ads or walking into a mall without being attacked by ever-present “SALE” signs in 500-point font.
Personally, I’ll admit I’ve contributed to the problem. If my computer takes more than, say, four nanoseconds to load a page, I instinctively check my phone. I seemingly must check email walking down the hall, or text a friend while in the restroom.
Think about the amount of times the average person checks his or her phone each day. In class, in work, while eating, while walking, while already talking on the phone—it’s absurd. Imagine how silly literally any other task would seem. Your friend is talking to you, and you whip out the fourth Harry Potter book to sneak in a quick paragraph. At a red light, you play a song on the ukulele. These seem ridiculous, right?! But yet, using our phones in these situations is considered “perfectly normal”.
The brightness, the loudness, the glitz and shine of modern society is enthralling, troubling, and distracting all at once. Yet, it leaves the essential question: how to combat such noise?
For me, it’s the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at St. Luke’s Church. It’s a place of complete, much-needed silence. To be able to take fifteen minutes out of my day and stop there to pray after work is intensely refreshing. Instead of dive bombing straight into the rest of my day, I take a step back to reflect and look at the bigger questions of life.
Why am I here? What is my purpose? How can I change the world? These questions are too often thrown aside or even refused to be considered in our frenetic lives.
Yet, these questions—essential ones—are not pondered enough. Technology, business, advertising—while neither inherently good nor bad, are rammed down our throats so much we think of it as normal.
Don’t listen to the loud. Don’t be afraid to step back, take time for yourself, and simply think.
Matt Del Busto is a habitually overcommitted sophomore at Butler University studying English Creative Writing and Spanish. He’s also involved in the university Catholic community, the Butler newspaper The Collegian, and the Diversity Center. Matt grew up in Carmel and enjoys most activities involving writing and eating.