A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

The Ipod Generation – My responsibility?

In Hearing Loss on May 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Every weekday I take a commute bus from my home in Stockton (CA) that drops me off in downtown Sacramento – from there I take a city bus to my actual work site.

A lot of young folks who are clearly high-school or college students ride the same bus I do (not surprising). I’ve repeatedly felt a quiet angst seeing that more often than not, they’re “plugged in”. Ipods and similar knock-offs adorn their ears. Sometimes even *I* can hear their music (I’m too deaf to know what it is, but I can hear it).

Beautiful children, sucked in by corporate driven conformity – that’s how I see them. And I just sit there and grieve for the future I believe they’re setting themselves up for. A future like my now, with much of my social life extinguished by the inability to have a simple conversation. Sure, I’ve found many ways to cope and communicate, but it’s always a struggle for both parties. Kids automatically think they’re invincible. I know – I was one once.

Sometimes I think I should say something, but then I wonder – what if these kids (let’s face it, they’re riding the bus) can’t even care about the future, because they see none? I know that the future has to be an even scarier prospect right now than I had it as a kid (under a steadfast threat of nuclear holocaust – which seems to be rearing its ugly head again). Our kids now have no guarantee of even achieving the “American Dream” or the lifestyle it promises. And I’ll say it – it is we (or our corporate peers, at least) who have robbed our children of their rightful future.

So it is, that one of these days, I probably *will* say something to one of my heart-wrenchingly young and beautiful (male or female, just the same) co-riders. I know it’s “hip” and I know you like the music (which I’m about finished grieving the loss of), and I know it makes you feel “part of”. Same feelings I had. Just know that you *could* live to be 49 (me) or older, and yes, you could lose it. Cherish it – care for it! That would be my only message.

Paul S – AKA: LifeWrecked

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  1. It’s like beating your head against a brick wall! I have done everything I can to get my daughter to turn the volume down, to no avail. Recently, I showed her an article in the Spring 2008 Hearing Health Magazine that talked about how many decibels(db) damage the ears by how much. She oo’ed and ah’ed over everything in the article, but the next time we got in the car … here came the inevitable iPod! I happen to drive without my hearing aids on (just too much noise), and I could still hear the iPod playing. Like you, I couldn’t identify the music, but I could readily tell it was loud.

    If you find a way to convince any of these youngsters on the bus, please let us know! I need to know what did the trick.

  2. A lot of people smoke even though they know the risks – but it’s likely even more would if they weren’t aware of the danger.

    I wonder how many would turn their iPods down if they were aware of the damage they were causing?

    I guess you are right though: teens are invincible and they’ve got better things to worry about than their hearing.

    There has been some campaigns here in UK to try and highlight the dangers of excessive noise but I think there needs to be more of them and they need to be more high profile.

    Cindy has a great way of convincing the iPod generation! http://beethovensears.com/2007/08/04/the-gospel-of-hearing-aids/

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