James Shelley shared an idea about silence yesterday
We are so enculturated to fear the quiet that we call it ‘dead air,’ ‘awkward silence.’ We viscerally react to the absence of noise and happily fill the void with another commercial.
I'd like to add to this a bit.
I believe the fear of quiet goes back to when people lived in the wild without shelter and is a strong defense mechanism. The wild is hardly quiet. Animals always make noise except for when a pretador is prowling and the prey doesn't want to be hunted; then the noise stops. Quiet in the wild is the trigger that something is happening and it most likely isn't good.
Now, I may be mistaken and sharing something that is factually incorrect. I hope not because I quite like the idea that absolute quiet is a trigger to our lizard brains that something is wrong and we need to be more aware of danger. Of course, this is the exact opposite of how many of us live today. We want it to be absolutely quiet when we are laying down to sleep, when we are our most vulnrerable. This change in behavior is fascinating. The idea that shelter and our modern societies are so at odds with our animal instinct is intriguing.