Whilst out with some very close friends this evening, we decided to try a new bar nearby the restaurant we had recently left. The evening was young and it felt too early to simply go home. Whilst we may be middle-aged (or whatever that means) we already felt the music was on the louder side of our comfort zone before we had purchased drinks. Perhaps we should have taken the hint and gone home. However, we liked the ambiance of this bar with its Turkish ambiance, private booths immersed with candle light and tent-like scarves and were enjoying a good evening. The music was reasonable, but the volume simply wasn’t. After a short while the volume increased meaning we three amigos had to lean in further to hear one another. I spoke to the bar lady to enquire about the possibility of hiring this rather soiree bar in central London, but to also ask if I could control the volume, which, apparently, If I was hiring the space, I could.
After about half an hour a large hen-party arrived. It seemed frustrating that we should leave a venue, but on the other hand, we could no longer communicate and it seemed a waste of what had been a very good evening. We begun to observe the groups of people and realised that only those next to each other could speak to each other. Anybody else seemed ostracised or had decided to use their phone as a method of communication, which seemed rather unfortunate when they were already “apparently” with a group of their friends. I thus concluded that we were, after all, completely isolated beings with all the isolation that entails.
As someone who has a mental health problem, I found this incredibly sad. I had come out for an evening to spend with some close friends. We had enjoyed a lovely meal together but yet our evening was abruptly terminated because the bar we chose to visit opted to make their music so loud it rendered conversation impossible. As a race we are becoming more and more isolated. It is time to turn down the volume and listen.