I agree with Stephan that over-stimulation of all sorts, really of any of the senses, can contribute to addiction and dull our appreciation of the naturally sweet things in life.
I think this applies to food, sex, music, television, and other sensually stimulating activities.
I think there are several dimensions to this. While I think that overstimulation is itself a cause, I think seeking overstimulation is often a reflection of deeper issues inside of us that we have to face.
In my experience, silence can often cause restlessness and anxiety when we are not at peace inside. In silence, our attention is drawn inward, to all the contradictions, anger, or frustration that might lie there. Listening to music, watching television, and filling our lives with various types of noise can often drown out this silence so that we can continue to postpone dealing with these issues.
Back when I was 23, I taught a remedial math class to students of ages 16-24 at an institution where students could get a driver's license, a high school equivalency diploma, and learn a trade. The students came from diverse backgrounds. Some were immigrants, some had come from the inner city, some from rural America. In general, the students came from troubled backgrounds of one sort or another, usually poor, often violent.
Unfortunately, the class was set up so that most people were working individually in silence and I was helping them one-on-one. This meant that there was an awful lot of silence to be kept, and many students felt compelled to break the silence in disruptive ways.
I was at a disadvantage for two reasons. First, the students entered or left the class based on standardized test scores. My class was the lowest level, so the most motivated students were always leaving it and the ones who had the most trouble were left behind. For some of the students, I was the third teacher who had taught that same class to them since they had been there. Second, most of the other teachers were over twice my age and were far more experienced than I was. As a result, I had a lot more trouble commanding a strong presence of authority. I was forced to prove myself worthy of respect over time.
I found that teaching and discussing something useful helped, but I couldn't completely alter the structure of the class. To help students work silently, I found that playing the right type of music worked wonders. Hip hop proved incredibly distracting, but something softer like Alicia Keys hit the sweet spot. It stimulated the senses with enough pleasure to distract from the silence, but without being so over-stimulating that it distracted everyone from their work.
I think in this case many students were afraid of the silence because it would force them to hear the quiet rumblings of all the troubles they had buried inside. Thus, they would act out to prove that they could be louder and more powerful, and to drown away those rumblings into the background noise.
I think we all act this way to one degree or another.
For many years now, I have periodically abstained from listening to music, watching television, dancing, eating delicious foods, and other sensually stimulating activities for a number of weeks each year to spend some time eating simply and immersing myself in silence. I find that my ability to tolerate this is directly correlated with the degree to which I am at peace. During times when I have had more anger and frustration, I have found myself unable to drive ten minutes without putting music on. It's during these times that I've acutely realized how much I needed to address those inner issues.
So what is the solution? To seek a life empty of pleasure?
I don't think so. I think there are times for fasting and times for feasting. I think that's the theory behind birthday cake.
We need to define the adaptive boundaries of healthy moderation and healthy excess. We need to understand what the proper ratio is. We should seek some guidance from tradition, and explore the issue with science.