Did You Hear That?

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Teens everywhere are setting their cell phones on the "mosquito ringtone." The mosquito ringtone is a high pitched sound that many adults over 25 can not hear. Dog whistles have the same idea behind the ringtone. The ringtone, also nicknamed Teen Buzz, is gathering a lot of attention even from CBS News.


Teens use the ringtone so parents and teachers can not hear the phone going off. Teen Buzz has become the new vibrate, yet the whole class can hear it, minus the teacher. This leads us to question why adults can not hear the sound? A phenomenon called presbycusis is the culprit. Adults ability to hear high frequencies deteriorates with age. Perhaps this information will allow us to study ways to prevent or reverse the process. On the other hand a few adults can hear the ringtone. They might be the ones to look to for finding out how and why they can still hear the high frequency. All in all I don't think anyone will feel sorry for the kid whose teacher can hear the teen buzz.


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I think this is a interested topic....after people become older, their ears structure are not sensitive anymore..also, there are some genetic reason why some people could not hear high frequency....

I think this is very interesting and how it relates to the anatomical structure of our ear. I believe this process can be slowed, however, from taking precautionary measures when one is still in their teens. Then, when they are older, they could still hear that high frequency and get those kids in trouble that are misbehaving with the improper cell phone use in school.

I find this topic interesting as well. This ring tone was very popular in my high school. I on the other hand never purchased this ring tone because I could not hear it. I was only 18 years old at the time so in theory I should be able to hear it. My hearing is fine I just seem unable to detect high pitch frequencies. On the other hand I had a teacher in high school who was 65 years old and could hear the ring tone. This just goes to show the ring tone is not fool proof and that there are always exceptions to the rule.

This is such an interesting topic. I remembering kids used to do this to their teachers in high school and then the whole class would burst out laughing, not helping the person who actually owns the phone. I do not think anybody really knew about this until cell phones came out. The main thing that I am still curious about is what is the main difference hearers and non-hearers by physical means. Does that part of the brain that “hears” become damaged? Does the sound range of an adult shift from high intensity to low intensity? One theory that sounds interesting is that maybe it isn’t the brain after all. Maybe the real problem is part of the anatomy of the ear. When adults mature maybe something in their ears mature too, resulting in a loss of high pitched hearing.

I have been exposed to this ringtone, moreso in high school. I had a teacher who was well into her 40s that could hear it. Does exposure to loud noises also affect our ability to hear this? Is it entirely age related? Is it correlation, and not causation? More adults over 25 have been exposed to louder noises longer, so there may be a correlation. But is it really age that matters?

This is a very interesting topic. I know that between the age of 19 and 25 we gain lot of maturity but didn't know that people over 25 become less sensitive to certain frequencies of sound. Hate to feel old at 25!!

i found this topic interesting. i think as you get older your hearing sensitivity becomes weaker, so that you cant hear the buzz. and i think sometimes it doesn't have to do with age but sometimes the distance might mater.

This is an interesting post. It is funny because I feel that alot of college students use their phone during classes where as in high school you forced not too. But with this ringtone anyone could get away with being on their phone except the one kid who has the teacher that can hear high pitch. As we get older our hearing gets worse which is way i believe they say after age 25 it is harder to hear higher pitched noises. OH!, The things that are invented to prevent getting in trouble for cell phone use!

I remember people trying this in middle school and it surprisingly worked occasionally. It was funny because the teachers had no idea what was going on. Interestingly enough, the younger teachers did hear a slight noise sometimes but the older teachers couldn't hear a thing. I feel like as you grow old, your hearing depletes due to just natural effects of the body getting older.

Surprisingly, this new trend is breaking news to me. I'm quite intrigued by this technology and idea, however. I think the factors that go into one's ability to hear high frequencies can not all be explicitly stated... there are probably many, many things contributing to our ear/brain's effectiveness. Perhaps one day we can hone in on a few of the key components, but the human body is a very complex device.

Funny and interesting subject. I think it simply comes with age. Older people lose their hearing, attended many concerts and perhaps damaged their hearing unintentionally. I do think that it varies though. Some older people have great hearing, while some do not. It could be genetics or perhaps simply aging, but it is still interesting and unique how kids are starting to do this and use this ringtone.

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This page contains a single entry by bemb0016 published on February 18, 2012 3:24 PM.

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