Back CameraBack Camera The first reaction to Mayor Bloomberg’s focus on cracking down on earbuds is, oh no, not another one. The mayor has focused his attention on public health issues like trans-fat and big sodas, and now it’s playing music too loud into your ear. Just like I can drink as big a soda as I please, I can listen to music as loud as I want to. We don’t need iPod police.
But you have to look a little more closely. First, it is a little scary that you’re basically saying I can go deaf if I want to. I really don’t want to lose my hearing. And unlike the ban on big sodas, the Mayor isn’t proposing a ban. He is planning a media blitz using social networking to help educate the public on the dangers of playing music too loud. IPods can play music at 115 decibels while above 85 is considered unsafe.
And this is new territory. We were just about born with iPods in our hands and earbuds in our ears. And you can keep thousands of songs on your playlist. If you let it run, that’s a lot of time at full blast. And how often have you fallen asleep while listening to music? It’s very easy to just listen at full volume for a long, long time.
Chelsea Bartholomew, a junior at Georgia’s Valdosta State University majoring in Speech Pathology, agrees with the Mayor. “Direct Research shows loud music through headphones causes hearing loss.” She also agrees that we need to be aware of this public health problem, “If people do ignore this, it will get much worse and more and more people will be affected.”
It is very irritating to be constantly told what is good for you. And I think the Mayor enjoys putting all of this out there like he’s smarter than we are (though he probably is) and knows what is best. That gets old. But you don’t want to do yourself harm out of spite.
It bothers me to admit that maybe the Mayor is on to something. He’s using his elected power and city-wide, even national, popularity to get the word out on something he believes will be good for a lot of us in the long run. We don’t want to go from putting earbuds in our ears to putting hearing aids in them.
It can’t hurt to listen, especially while you still can. So, your Honor, on your new campaign to save our ears from the evils of loud music, I say, hear hear!

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