If You Can Hear This, You’re a Spring Chicken.

I’m a little late getting to this post because, well, yesterday I spent most of my free time trying to figure out a way to watch the USA play their first game in the World Cup. Too bad they lost.

Anyway, I read an article yesterday that really piqued my interest. At first, I didn’t believe it. There is a now a cell phone ring tone that adults cannot hear. The technology began as a way to deter teens from loitering outside of businesses. (I guess the sound is considered so irritating, no one can stand to hear it for any lengthy amount of time.) Well, the technology has backfired a little bit. Kids are now using the sound to hide cell phone calls during class.

Here’s the deal, the technology relies on the fact that most adults lose their ability to hear high-pitched frequencies. And yesterday, a few of us tested it out. One of the guys I work with heard it and came close to screaming. The other guy said he only heard it faintly and even then he wasn’t sure. I couldn’t hear it at all. (Then again, I am nearly deaf in one ear and the other has a constant high-pitch ring. I don’t need a cell phone ring to annoy me. I live with it 24/7.)

So, if you can hear this sound welcome to my every waking minute and you’re hot.

24 Comments

  1. Okay, here’s where maybe I’m a little dense, but I’ve been wanting to ask this ever since this news item came out. So adults can’t hear the cell phone ring – so what? Surely we can hear the kids talking on the phone once they answer their mosquito call, right?

    And why not just set it to vibrate? I must be really old, ‘cause I just don’t get it.

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  2. Not only can’t I hear the sound, I couldn’t even read what you wrote.

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  3. scbob: Apple, Shift +. :]

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  4. Whoo hoo! I’m HOT! And apparently much younger than I thought. ;-)

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  5. I could here it when I put on my headphones and turned up the volume. So I guess I’m only hot with technical assistance.

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  6. Ugh .. I should have typed “hear” it. So not only am I lacking in sex appeal, I can’t spell either.

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  7. I can hear it faintly. As I suspected, I am teetering on the edge of middle age. Yet still hot.

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  8. I can hear and it annoys the crap outta me! not as bad as nails on a chalk board, but close.

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  9. I CAN’T HEAR IT!

    I feel like the fat guy in Mall Rats.

    Little kid to sister: “It’s a Schooner!”

    Fat guy: “HA! It’s not a schooner, it’s a sailboat.”

    Little kid to fat guy: “A sailboat is a schooner, retard!”

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  10. Great, now I’ve got a headache right above both ears.

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  11. Oh yeah, I can hear it and it’s awful. Though I’m kinda excited about the fact I could still be classified as a teenager. Or at least my hearing could be!

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  12. With the volume up on my macbook, i can hear it.

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  13. i can barely hear it… its in the same class as nails on a chalkboard or styrofoam rubbing against itself… but its so faint to me

    i’d suspect that speakers have quite a bit to do with replicating the sound though – whether or not your ears can hear it is going to be influenced by how well the speakers can render it—it sounded 3x louder on my ibook at medium volume than it did at a higher level on my ibook or any level on my desktop.

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  14. Mihow,

    I’m 16 years old and I can’t hear it. Lighten up. I feel lame.

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  15. I’m going to be a teacher – starting my practicum this fall – and cell phones are one thing i can’t resign myself to. I am 27, and although those high schoolers will think I am old, it doesn’t feel like that long ago that i was in their shoes. However, we didn’t have the technology kids today have. They are constantly plugged into ipods and have their cell phones on. Do I install a “classroom rule” of no cell phones or ipods? A friend of mine did this with the reason that she wanted her students to be free of stimulus, even if it was only for an hour. In my psychology class, however, we are learning that some students learn better if they are “plugged in”.

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  16. Do I install a “classroom rule” of no cell phones or ipods?

    I would say most definitely. We did our work without it. Personally, I think it’s wise to ask people to turn ‘em off for a bit. And we wonder why our kids are turning up with ADD. The heck?

    Personally, I find it disrespectful. When I taught at American, I asked they not use them. Granted, I am sure during the computer class I taught, they were on AIM and whatever else. I tried, though. It seemed really wrong to have phones ringing during a class if not for me, for the other students.

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  17. But, kater, please do explain as I am curious now. HOw would it be better if they are “plugged in”? That’s an interesting idea.

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  18. I was trying to explain this concept to a friend earlier today and I made him quite confused; i’ll do my best!!

    “stimulus augmentors” are people who can let a lot of stimulation into their brain, so they don’t actually NEED a lot of stimulation. They need to be in quiet classrooms with fewer visuals.

    “stimulus reducers” are people who need stimulation; without it they are bored. These people are more likely to doodle or fidget.

    It has to do with how much information their cerebral cortex can let in at one time.

    (that is straight from my notes – which aren’t that great).

    So, the general concept here is that some people need a lot more stimulus in order to function, for example, having an ipod stuck into their ear helps them study.

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  19. Wow, that sound is just high pitched enough to be really irritating.
    I guess I should be happy that I’m the ripe ole age of 30 and can still hear it very well :)

    Except, uh, my ears kind of hurt now.

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  20. Wow. Tobyjoe is a “stimulus reducer” for sure. Whereas, I am the former. I need silence to “get” most anything. I used to think my inability to focus in a busy classroom was due to my hearing loss and the fact that I simply wasn’t hearing everything.

    Maybe I’m a timulus augmentor. :] Hmmmm

    parasol, you’re indeed a hot little spring chicken!

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  21. I think I can hear it. Thanks for reminding me that I am still as young as I could ever be. [Grin]

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  22. wow, i heard it! and i felt it in my teeth. eewwwwsh! i feel so young.

    i think i’ve become an augmentor. i have read about that in relation to being able to write (why people actually go to busy places to sit down and write) but once i’m actually focusing i go “deaf” to what’s around me.

    <random aside>i had a high school physics teacher who was deaf in the range of the female voice. if i answered in class, a guy next to me had to repeat what i said.</random aside>

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  23. i had a high school physics teacher who was deaf in the range of the female voice. if i answered in class, a guy next to me had to repeat what i said.

    If that ain’t a case of selective hearing, I know nothing.

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