The Sound of Silence

Recently, I deleted my Facebook account, as did my husband and both of my parents. There were many reasons why, but other than the data tracking/privacy issues, my main reason for deleting my account was because I feel like my relationships with my friends have all but dried up since everyone signed up on social media.

When I first bought a computer and got online years ago, it was a thrill to be able to hop out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and check my email. I loved seeing who had sent me a letter that day, and what they had to say. It was so nice to have instant access to my dearest friends and loved ones. No more waiting for the mailman! Woo hoo! I know that many of you can relate.

Once I discovered chat rooms, that was a whole new world; I could talk to other Christians from around the world – Australia, England, Africa … I made friends everywhere. It was amazing. I still have some of those friends today. I was hooked. I learned all I could about computers – from web and graphic design to the techy stuff of how to build and fix them.

Next came the whole blog phenomenon. Could things get any better?! An online “diary”, to keep in touch with your friends and family. To begin with, it was fantastic! I had a whole little community of folks that visited me regularly. We chatted, we shared recipes and book recommendations, jokes and games, and everything in between. So much fun!

Then came Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest.

Now, nobody communicates outside of them. Shoot, they hardly communicate *inside* of them. It’s all pins, pics, memes, likes, and thumbs up. No real conversations. No real connections. It makes me incredibly sad.

With “communication” at an all-time high and infiltrating everything we do, people are losing themselves inside a vanity-driven media circus.

I know I was.

When I realized this, I stepped back and took stock of my relationships. Then, I deleted my Facebook account. I gave plenty of notice, and those who wanted to keep in touch let me know. Those who didn’t? Well, I guess that just proves my point, doesn’t it?

For me, it’s time to start cultivating true relationships, and living life in the real world. I will probably blog more now, because I won’t be sharing everything on social media. I know I will have more time; I have already found myself getting little projects done that I have put off for too long. I listen to more music now. I read more. I spend more time with my family. Life is so much better when it is lived outside of social media!

Written in 1964 by Paul Simon (of Simon & Garfunkel), I think “Sound of Silence” (video below) is more relevant today than ever. Garfunkel gave his thoughts as to the meaning of the song as, “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.”

Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

In a world where there is so much noise, motion, and constant activity … does anyone really take the time to see one another – much less truly listen to another? Between the flashing lights on every street, the multitudes of people going here and there, honking of horns, beeping of electronics, and cars that talk to you – how many people do you actually see each day? When was the last time you really heard another human being?

Just something to think about.

The Lyrics – Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by
The flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said:
“The words of the prophets are
Written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.”

  1. *Fun side notes: I heard this song while watching an episode of Timeless, and it had that hauntingly beautiful quality to it that makes you want to hear it again. Being the nerd that I am, I decided to do some research to see who sang this particular version of it, and discovered it was an artist out of the Seattle area, Nouela. Then of course, I had to research the song itself, find the lyrics, and see if I could discover if my thoughts on the song actually matched up with what the original artist meant when they wrote it. Again, nerd … but a well-informed nerd.
  2. Simon stated that the song was written in his bathroom. He said, “The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run (I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me) and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again’.”

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  • Reply
    Wanda Tumlin
    April 28, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Excellent. I haven’t heard or thought of that song in years. You write so beautifully, I’m glad to see you at it, again.

    • Reply
      April 28, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks, Mama! ♥

  • Reply
    April 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Another thought provoking post!

    • Reply
      April 28, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      That’s me. Provoker of thoughts.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2018 at 3:32 am

    I’ve always loved that song, and here I am in the middle of the night listening to the Sound of Silence and reading your email. I’ve thought several times about closing my Facebook. But, with family scattered from one coast to the other it’s great how we can still stay connected instantly. Love seeing all the pictures and videos of my relatives, especially my grands and great grands that live on the other side of the country. Hoping your day is a wonderful one Tori.

    • Reply
      April 29, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks, Mitzi. I hope you have a wonderful day as well! I’m glad you stopped by. It’s always nice to “see” a friendly face!

  • Reply
    Travis Haines
    July 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    My favorite line out of this post….”In a world where there is so much noise, motion, and constant activity … does anyone really take the time to see one another – much less truly listen to another? “.

    Taking time to see one another and listen takes your time and is in turn a selfless act. Social Media has created such a “Me” world, in other words, a selfish world. Nobody has time to sit and listen when they are too busy posting selfies.

    • Reply
      July 17, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Travis. I actually started up a new Facebook profile but it was *only* because I want to be able to keep up to date on my friend who was just diagnosed with cancer. Aside from that, I wouldn’t have gone back.

      There was one good thing that came out of it though; I have met some others (like yourself) through our writers group, and that has been really nice.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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