Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

The Fear of Silence

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 18th December, 2010

One of the most striking things about Brazil for an outsider is the people’s love of noise. Only the poshest restaurants are places where one can have a gentle conversation. Everywhere else, people shout, laugh, fool around and compete with the ever present television. Just about every medium-range eatery or snack-bar has several televisions hanging from the wall, playing football matches or soap operas, the latter watched intermitently but with great intensity briefly by the customers. Even the long-distance buses have videos, as if the countryside or towns through which one passes are insufficient entertainment. Then there is the music, of course, blaring from cars, people’s portable sound systems and juke-boxes. Though this cacophony and joie de vivre are elements of Brazil’s particular charm, I can’t help but notice how superficial it all is. Few people read a newspaper, let alone a book (though it’s true both are expensive luxuries for the bulk of the population). From an early age, people seem to go around in noisy groups, either of family or friends. It’s almost as if they have a fear of silence, of extended periods of quiet reflection. Even a fear of being alone.

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2 Responses to “The Fear of Silence”

  1. Vijaykumar said

    I seem to feel that all over the world this is emerging as a curious psychological phenomenon. The fear of silence. When two or three people get together, there is an instant demand to get into conversations however inance and silly it will turn into eventually. Also, rather than speak about real issues, the conversations are often of events or people completely unrelated to the predicaments we get into. And, the scripts keep rolling out without time for reflection and silent sharing. Why? why is the world getting to this?

  2. RoHS said

    So that is the Brazil, a crazy country with crazy people,but wonderful.

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