<b>Noisy new normal</b>
EDITOR: I appreciated Margaret Carlson's column ("Texting, talking even if it kills us," June 30). Driving while texting or having a phone conversation is dangerous. Electronically distracted pedestrians, too, are a problem when oblivious to the world around them.
Carlson also touched on my pet peeve: the incessant noise that fills our environment, created by folks who seem totally unaware of others who don't want to have to hear loud phone conversations. In line recently at a convenience store, a young woman stepped behind me, virtually hollering in my senior ears, inches away. Is noisy and oblivious — or rude — the new normal?
And what about the macho element driving around with car stereos booming, blasting everyone in hearing distance? Besides harming sensitive eardrums, this, too, is a potentially dangerous distraction from negotiating traffic. It ought to be a fine-able offense, but reliable enforcement is a pipe dream.
Wearing earplugs 24/7? What a dismal thought.