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Silently Waiting and Perhaps Even Thinking

When we were evolving as a species, silence was ubiquitous.  Rare were there words between people because we didn’t meet other people that much.  Music was a welcome rare treat.

Even in medieval times, only at gatherings was there a break in the silence.  Music came only rarely at these gatherings and it was a real reward.

Now it is expected that music will be part of walking down the street, riding an elevator, shopping for groceries, waiting on the telephone (because your call is important to us), driving in your car, jogging, exercising, and walking through a store.

Sitting in tranquility and pondering deep thoughts is a very foreign concept to a society that is more at home with fleeting superficial news and ideas.  Even playing games requires a constant sound track.

What are we doing to our brains, much less our hearing?

Latest reports from a study published in JAMA suggests hearing damage in adolescents has increased dramatically from 14.9% in 1994 to 19.5% in 2005-2006.  That coincides with the introduction of Walkman in the 1980s and iPod in 2001 as well as a trend to louder and louder music choices such as hard rock and metal.

What about our brains?  They are constantly being bombarded with external stimuli from ear plugs, car audio systems, cell phones and every waking hour seems to require music or talk.  Surely our brains are changing in response to the tremendous change in stimulus.

With a piece of technology poking at us all the time, 24/7, what about the stress and the induced ADD that comes with it.

I am convinced that some of this is Twinkie technology, tasty but not that good for us.

Scientists have shown that despite our claims of being able to  multitask, we really can’t.  We can only focus on one thing at a time, although we can switch back and forth.  That means lots of sloppy errors that we expect technology to correct for us.  Just read anything for mistakes like your for you’re and there for their for they’re.  Mistakes spell check can’t see.

And will the cacophony of technology stop?  Not likely.  It just keeps dialing up and dialing up.

For advertisers, this means keep the message simple and repeat as required.  Repeat as required.  Repeat as required.

Frequency is needed to break through the din.  And being provocative counts a lot in getting attention.  But it is hard to retain that provocative edge when the message is repeated over and over.

It also means that when you produce a commercial, you should use silence.  It can come through loud and draw attention.

Why?  Because right now silence is on the endangered species list.

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