It Hurts, Doesn’t It? (The Noise Effect)
Transcript: It feels to me like we’re living in a really noisy world and that it’s getting even noisier by the moment. Even if that’s true, I think the bigger issue is: what’s the effect of that? What’s that noise actually doing to us?
There’s a scene from one of the more recent Superman films that touches on that subject that kind of makes me think. It’s a film called “Man of Steel.” It was out a few years ago. And in this scene the bad guy, General Zod, has come down to battle Superman.
Now remember, those two guys aren’t supposed to be human, like you and me, even though they look like it. They’re actually from a planet called Krypton and one of the things that makes them different is this really highly tuned ability to sense everything that’s going on anywhere around the world. I think that’s partly what allows Superman to know whether somebody’s in trouble somewhere else so that he knows to go and help them.
I think for that reason the bad guy, General Zod, has this helmet on, this mask, that allows him to filter a lot of that stuff out. And so he’s got that when he’s fighting Superman in that scene. But in the course of the battle, that helmet, that mask, gets damaged. The immediate effect on the General Zod character is he becomes overwhelmed with this sensory overload. It cripples him with all of sudden every sound and every thought and everything from all around the world is pouring into his awareness all at once. And he goes from being this superhuman kind of person with this incredible ability, to barely even being to stand up.
What Have You Done To Me?
And as he’s falling down on to one knee he looks up to Superman and he asks, “What have you done to me?”
Superman answers him,”My parents taught me to hone my senses, Zod. To focus on only what I wanted to see. Without your helmet, you’re getting everything. And it hurts. Doesn’t it?”
I think we’ve become a lot more like the Zod character than like Superman, but with one exception. I don’t think we’re so aware of what that noise is doing to us. We’re just so used to it that we think, I believe, that it’s just normal. We’ve agreed and accepted that that’s just how it is. We don’t even really know how to function to a large extent without it.
What’s the effect of that?
If you want see if that’s true, you can try this test. Try sitting alone for just a few moments. Nobody else to talk to, no TV, no internet, no phone, no music, no radio, no books, no nothing. Just for a few minutes; just you and whatever’s in between your ears. Try sitting for five minutes with your eyes closed and quiet, and see how natural that feels.
It hurts, doesn’t it?