TeenBuzz: What's the buzz about?

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We have all had that moment in school where a student's phone starts ringing in class. It keeps going for a while but the teacher keeps lecturing. How is that not distracting to the lecturer? Well, it is because the teacher can not even hear it. It is a new ringtone called TeenBuzz. It is so high pitched that people over the age of 30 can not hear it. However, the younger students in the class have no problem hearing the super irritating and high pitched noise.
This is due to presbycusis, a normal loss of acute hearing that occurs with advanced age. Presbycusis is primarily caused by aging but smoking, ototoxic drugs, noise trauma, diabetes, and a few others causes can worsen the effects as well. Due to the consequences of presbycusis, he or she slowly loses the ability to hear very high pitched noises such as the TeenBuzz ringtone. The ringtone takes advantage of presbycusis as teachers are almost always over the age of 30 so they have no idea that someone's phone is ringing while the other students are extremely annoyed. Next time someone has the TeenBuzz ringtone, you will know how it is possible that young students can hear it, while the older professors fail to hear it.

See which level of frequency you can hear here:

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Interesting article! I remember when that idea got big when I was in high school and was always curious as to why we could hear things the adults couldn't and now I know the reasoning behind it. I guess now I am curious to know if it is legitimate. I can answer for myself (and my roommate because she was listening to that video with me) but what about everyone else? Also, I believe that there are multiple factors that can affect either the "teen's" ability to hear the frequency or even the sound itself. For example, people now-a-days (myself included) listen to media way too loud and impair their hearing anyway which would lead to an "aging" in their auditory systems right?

I remember the first time I heard this ring tone, I was sitting in my eighth grade social studies class and could not understand why my elder teacher didn't notice the noise at all. This entry was very informative and I liked the video you chose because it really puts into perspective how pitch and hearing work (especially if you listen to it with someone who cant hear the buzz).

Yeah, it will be interesting to see how this will change with the huge effects of increased headphones usage, concerts, etc. I am sure our ears will be much worse when we are older compared to the elderly today.

The video was interesting to hear the different pitches that we are suppose to hear since a majority of us are below those ages. I guess I should go to an audiologist because I couldn't hear the last one. Do you know how often this is really used in classes?

I haven't heard anyone with this ringtone since like freshman year of high school so it doesn't seem like it is really popular. But I couldn't hear the last one either so don't worry about it!

This was an interesting entry and found it informative on what frequency people older people could hear up to. I've always wondered what was the reason was that older people were not able to hear the higher frequencies. I've noticed that this ringtone has become more and more popular in recent years because everyone's discovered that teachers can't hear it.

It's really interesting just how high our hearing can hear. I wonder how this kind of sense came to develop. Evolution-wise, I don't really see anything that would require me to hear as high as that last pitch in the video. How did our bodies shape and determine what pitch ranges we can hear?

I haven't heard TeenBuzz since high school! I never got the ringtone for myself, but I remember hearing some of my classmates' phones go off during school and it really was an awful sounding ringtone! I think it's interesting that hearing can deteriorate not only because of noise exposure and getting older, but because of diabetes and smoking too. I didn't know that they had any kind of effect on a person's hearing. I'm surprised that I don't hear TeenBuzz very often nowadays, but I think most people just put their phone on vibrate or silent mode.

This was a very interesting post to read. I heard about this a while ago then never did again, which makes me wonder how popular it is and if it is really used. It is a fascinating idea. I was also very interested to learn about why we lose out hearing. Great post!

That's really cool! My junior year, there was a kid in my class who used to play it all of the time in class to catch our attention but I always wondered how he managed to do it without the teacher hearing. Now I know. It's strange to think that there are somethings that I can hear now that I won't be able to hear in 12 years.

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This page contains a single entry by vishn010 published on February 18, 2012 4:26 PM.

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