We spoke to some of the world’s foremost experts across diverse fields from psychology to media, design to architecture, as well as 9,000 real homes to help us understand what is bringing silence into our homes.
The Adult Fade
When we’re young, music is everything. It brings meaning to the chaos of our every moment. It defines us until work, bills, the pressures of life and the ever-presence of technology take over and music gets squeezed to the margins.
Almost all the technological solutions that were supposed to make music better had the unintended consequence of making it worse. We work late, caught up in an endless cycle of busyness, and when we’re not doing that, we’re immersed in our devices.
Utilitarian Home Life
Our precious time is being squeezed to its limit. 58% say it’s hard to find time to finish all their daily commitments and four fifths said they would like to spend more time doing activities in-person with their family and friends.
Our days are filled with work and social commitments. The result is a feeling of constant busyness. We value any moment by its usefulness in pursuit of some future goal. Yet when it arrives, we instantly re-focus on the goal that still lies ahead. We’re missing out on life in a fundamental way.
Families are more connected than ever with the digital world, but are becoming increasingly disconnected from each other. Almost 50% of households spend more time interacting with personal technology at home than with each other. 62% said more of their social interactions are in the digital world.
The 24/7 Work Week
9-to-5 has become 24/7 and we are feeling the pressure – with 58% yearning for a better work/life balance. It’s no surprise to hear that more than seven in ten of Americans sleep with or next to their phones and the impact on our life at home is obvious.
Today’s homes were designed to promote connection, with open-floor plans to invite family togetherness and interaction. In reality, noise levels inherent in the open home often lead us to crave personal space. So we retreat – 44% of us end up listening alone or on headphones and cutting everyone else off.
Sound Systems on Steroids
Component stereos sound great, but they’re complicated and trap music in the one room. Home theater is similarly complex, and it doesn’t work for music because the sound is over-optimized for special effects.
The Compromise of Convenience
TV and laptop speakers, Bluetooth and portables, all seem easier, but they just don’t offer the thrill of a great sound system – and then there’s all the drop-outs and interruptions.
It’s time to reconnect, shake off the shackles of our over-stuffed schedules and reclaim the time that is ours. It is critical we invite music back into every corner of our lives.
In the coming weeks and months, you will see us doing a lot more to wake up the Silent Home…