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Many students who recently graduated high school would have heard the "Teen Buzz" ringtone sometime throughout high school. As cell phones have become more popular, adults have tried to get their kids off of phones and schools have banned them from class. This obviously hasn't stopped us "kids" from using our phones during school; we have just found a sneakier way to use them! The Teen Buzz is a high frequency tone that many people have been using as a text message alert because older adults cannot hear it. As we age we lose the tiny hair cells in our ears which cause us to lose some of our hearing abilities, including hearing high frequency noises.
The "Teen Buzz" being used as a ringtone is a creative idea but for those that can hear it... OUCH. If you hear that high frequency noise for loud enough it can really start to get under your skin. Some kids from my high school even claimed to have gotten headaches after hearing the noise for more than a minute or two. I have noticed this phenomenon in my house on unintentional occasions such as when the television is on. Normally, I can tell from the other room that the T.V. is on even if it is on mute because it produces a high frequency noise that my parents never notice but it drives me crazy. Whoever created "Teen Buzz" sure was sneaky but can also successfully annoy many people!




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I actually remember having the same thing happen to me when i was a little kid. Those old tube TV's would just shriek the highest pitch sounds, that only my 5 year old delicate ears could hear. However in regards to the Teen Buzz ringtone, every adult i tried to trick with it almost always heard it. "Sneaky" kids in my 8th grade math class were met with nothing but having their phones taken away. Whether this is due to the fact that my teachers just have abnormally above average hearing i cant be sure, but i am pretty confident in the fact that this ringtone is not as effective as its said. You might be able to trick grandma...but teachers and your parents are slightly harder to fool

I have been in class when people have you used the "teen buzz" and i think its so weird when every single person in the class can hear that annoying loud ringing and the teacher is so oblivious to the noise. It is so weird to me that one high pitched noise can only be heard by younger people, I find it very interesting.

I can agree with you about this Teen Buzz. The same thing happens to me where I here a high pitched buzz from the TV monitor but even my friends claimed that I was making things up. I think that this idea is incredible that children have higher range hearing abilities but I think that they have better senses in general. A good example of this in my life is deer hunting. The adults might not be able to hear so well so they have to look for the deer, whereas the beginning hunters can often hear the deer before it comes within sight. I am curious if this sensory capacity difference in children vs adults is a reality.

The "Teen Buzz" is super annoying. I also often times hear a "Teen Buzz" not only from my tv, but if my phone or iPod are plugged in. When the device is next to my head before I go to sleep, or after I wake up, there will often times be a very sensitive buzzing that I can hear, until I move far enough away from it. It is one sound that I can tolerate for a small amount of time, as long as it is not very early in the morning, or very late at night.

This is really interesting. I, like everyone else, has heard this extremely high pitched sound from phones before but I never knew why we could hear it and adults couldn't. I also had no idea people used that as a ring tone, people in my high school never did that. I guess I'm lucky because that would drive me crazy. But I wonder at what age you lose the ability to hear that high pitched of a noise and if there are any behaviors or habits that can decrease the amount of these hairs at a faster rate, therefore losing the ability to hear those noises at a younger age?

As nice as this "teen buzz" maybe for students, for those with younger siblings it is more annoying than anything. The idea that sounds can be tracked differently depending on age is an interesting concept and my younger sister has even found sounds that are pitched to where only certain ages groups can hear them. The though that hearing goes bad as age increases makes me wonder what else decreases as we age? What exactly happens to eye sight, smell, and taste? It is just odd to think that there are actually sounds I cannot hear as I begin to get to this point.

I have never heard of this "Teen Buzz" but it is a very interesting concept. It makes sense now that we know that with age, ability to hear high pitch noise decreases. I have noticed that my parents have a harder time hearing high pitch noises from the t.v. or the radio when those noises are extremely clear to me. Whoever thought of this idea of "Teen Buzz" is pretty clever, however, I do agree that the sound would be rather annoying to hear all the time. Also, high pitch noise is probably not that great for our ears anyway. Maybe there is a way to use these high pitch noises in a more useful and advantageous way than for texting in school.

I hated when people used to do that in high school. They would sit there with an app on their iPods that would produce this god awful sound. Nobody besides the students were able to hear it and I always wondered why. My friend would see how low of a pitch it would take for the teacher to hear the sound. This is an interesting concept that only younger people are able to hear this high pitched sound.

Where most old people can't hear the high pitched noise, there are exceptions. I know this from experience. A kid in my math class last year had the app, and he had been using it in class all day (to the dismay of me, as I was in multiple classes with him). Despite it being annoying it was actually pretty funny how everyone cringed except the teacher. But, our math teacher must have really good hearing or didn't age normally, because she was an exception. When he did it she turned around and yelled at us. She couldn't tell who did it but she definitely heard it, which was weird (she had gray hair, had to be like 60 at least).

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This page contains a single entry by vand0725 published on February 17, 2012 4:51 PM.

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