“It’s too loud!”
“I can’t hear you!”
“Hearing sirens during my morning yoga session isn’t calming at all!”
If you’ve ever lived in an urban city, you might understand the phrase “you get used to it.” These days, cities suffer from noise pollution. Whenever a zooming police car blares its sirens or the subway car goes whizzing by, you instinctively speak louder or turn up the volume on your iPhone. But after living or working in the city for months or maybe even years, sensory overload ensues and risks of hearing loss increase.
In order to answer this big question, Listen Carefully took the city bus to the biggest downtown block and absorbed sounds from all around us.
- Wailing Sirens
Although a temporary annoyance, sirens save lives, and an ambulance startling you from behind has an excuse to be loud. City dwellers are known to completely tune out blaring sirens and continue on with their busy work days. (Just be sure to cover your ears to help protect your hearing!)
- Constant city chatter
It might seem obvious, but people shouting “excuse me!” and their long, complicated Starbucks order becomes overwhelming. Practically everyone has had “pardon me!” shouted at them during the course of their day. Even walking to the best lunch spot, overhearing business women discussing their forty-three million dollar company deal isn’t unordinary.
- Packed Public Transportation
The quickest way home from work might be public transportation, but the sound effects are a little crazy. Between the person next to you blaring the Hamilton soundtrack and the train’s “doors closing” announcement, your ears are exhausted by the time you step into your tiny studio apartment. Also, there might have been a crying baby within earshot.
- Honking Horns
Ever ride home from work in taxi traffic? Constant honking car horns might cause a headache before you know it. Most commuters find the sound as part of their routine and now you can even download car horn sounds to play at your leisure.Eventually, city residents don’t even notice the honking from inside their homes, and the honking is not even a concern.
- Distinct Dinging Elevator Bells
City dwellers are known to live in some of the tallest apartment complexes in the world and the constant “ding!” of the elevator might be interrupting more than you think. Picture your lights dimmed, Harry Potter’s most emotional scene on your TV and “Ding!” the elevator pings right at the moment Harry and—don’t worry, we won’t spoil it—kiss. This specific city sound might not happen in the suburbs and it’s definitely not going away soon.
With all the noise vying for your attention, your ears might be telling you its time to head to the suburbs, and the ringing you experience is a big sign. But if you’re not ready to leave the city yet, think twice before Turning up the volume on your headphones. Instead, smile, take deep breaths, and let your ears soak in the sounds of the city.
Did we miss any sounds of the city? Let us know in the comments below!