Self-Created Noise Pollution
I was working at my desk recently when I heard a loud electronic chirp. I’d never heard it before. I was willing to overlook it once, but then I heard the chirp again, and again, and again, about every 30 seconds. One of my electronic devices obviously wanted some attention but, as I’d never heard the chirp before, I didn’t know which one. So I began to inspect, mute and, in the end, physically move everything around me that had the potential to make noise and which might be doing the chirping: my laptop, my cell phone, my regular phone, my iPad, my external hard drive, my external monitor, my air conditioner, the VPN token I use to get on this blog. Still, the chirping persisted. This took up quite a bit of my time. Finally, I identified the chirping source: the wall-mounted carbon-monoxide/smoke alarm. It wanted a new battery. Thank goodness it wasn’t actually signaling some kind of danger: surrounded by all my self-created noise pollution, it might have been too late by the time I noticed.