Thursday, November 11, 2010

The color of silence

I must be the only person in the world without an iPod. And if I ever received one as a gift, it would quickly be re-gifted to someone who might actually use it.

When it comes to listening preferences, mine are natural. I like to open my office window and hear the birds rather than music. It helps me think -- and write.

But things can get too quiet. So quiet, in fact, that the hum of my computer sounds loud. The guy across the street with the leaf blower gets annoying. The kids playing after school become a distraction.

My solution? Noise. Simply noise. Or, should I say SimplyNoise.com. The site is billed as "The Best Free White Noise Generator on the Internet." I don't know if that's true; all I know is that it works. Phenomenally. At least for me.

I often switch between white noise, pink noise, and brown noise -- you know, for variety. And I can choose to have the sound oscillate at different speeds. It's like controlling the waves of your own ocean. Or rainfall. Or wind through the trees.

In a few seconds, the sound fades into the background, masking other distractions, so I can focus on the project at hand.

I'm hoping SimplyNoise does the trick for those days when I share my office with my telecommuting husband. Just in case it doesn't, I've ordered an assortment of ear plugs to test. It's a low-tech approach that could simply work.   

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