Turn the radio off (auditory overload)

Do you always have the radio on in the background?

From the moment I wake up in the morning until I get out of the car at the office, the radio spews its news out at me (I find news more stimulating than music).

That was true until recently, when my car radio stopped working. After a few quiet journeys with no radio blaring at me, I suddenly realized that solutions to a number of problems I had been mulling over had popped into my head while driving.

I can’t prove the science behind it, but I know intuitively that when the radio, TV or MP3 player is on, it continuously stimulates our sensory inputs with relatively useless information. This suppresses our own original and creative thoughts that would otherwise fill the void. (By constantly saturating our inputs with irrelevant chatter, could we be subconsciously “protecting” ourselves against having to deal with such things?)

So next time you have the urge to hose yourself down with a torrent of mind-numbing auditory input, try listening to your own mind for a while instead.

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10 responses to “Turn the radio off (auditory overload)

  1. i agree fully with your opinion. i always listen to the news and prefer radio to TV but find when it’s not there that a weight on my mind has been lifted. there is always the temptation to switch it back on though.

  2. Pingback: no time? « Blogs are like opinions. Everybody has one…

  3. I believe you could go one step further to improve productivity and listen to classical music. Being from a family of teachers I have heard of studies where students taking a test while listening to classical music did better than students who took the test in a silent environment.

  4. The irony of reading this exactly when I was cursing my neighbor who is playing music at full volume doesnt escape me…

  5. You may want to think about email overload as a operating cultural issue … here’s a write-up that might put context around thinking differently about the role that email should play in an organization

    http://www.bis-insight.com/Site/Blog/Entries/2009/3/14_I_can_see_clearly_now_the_email_is_down.html

  6. Excellent point. There is so much spam and noise out there, reaching permission-based recipients amid the clutter becomes more important.

  7. Great point. So often I turn to the buzz of media to help me solve my troubles, when really what I need is silence.

    I wonder though, sometimes, how to achieve this silence. It’s not as if it isn’t easy. It just involves flipping a few off switches and pressing a few buttons. But really – I think my mind has become so conditioned that it will not accommodate silence. It’s like an addiction – If there is nothing going on to distract me, my brain starts to crave gchat or email or radio.

    Any tips for training your mind to accept this silence?

    Neil
    http://www.neilsthoughts.com

  8. It has been proven that by leaving your audio or visual alerts switched on reduces IQ by 10 points!
    An Emailogic training course sorts out this issue – in just 90 minutes! It will teach you to get back in control of your inbox quickly and effectively

  9. I somehow developed the skill to to totally plug off my my self from the environmental noise when I’m thinking, but I understand your point here. It is true, we sometimes pay much more attention to news or music than to our selves and problem we have. Great post.

  10. I used to be a music person, all day, everyday. Now it’s newstalk constantly.

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