41 minutes ago
- copy link
N. Raghuraman, Management Guru
Last week there were about 30 young people in my family’s three-day wedding ceremony. Most of them used headphones during all the rituals. Many times he did not even know that a relative was calling, until someone touched his shoulder and interrupted him. Many of them said that they are preparing for the cultural program to be held on Sunday evening.
I wondered how his eardrums would be coping with the dual sounds coming from his headphones and the noise of the wedding ceremony. What kind of music are they immersed in? I heard a boy by taking out his earphone, but could not listen for more than 10 seconds. This loud music was not right for my ears.
This habit of listening to music in headphones, at high decibels, reminded me of 33 studies that were done on hundreds of students. According to them, one in four youth had the habit of listening to ‘unsafe levels of loud music’ through headphones. People were generally hearing sounds louder than 105 decibels, and the average range was from 104 to 112 decibels. While 75 decibels for children and 80 decibels for adults are considered safe. This was the first study of its kind on listening habits.
There are now 8 billion people in the world and an estimated 2.8 billion of those aged 12 to 35 use headphones and have a habit of listening to ‘unsafely loud music’. According to the analysis, 23.8 per cent of the young population, or about 665 million people, are at risk of hearing loss from listening to loud headphones. In addition, 48.2 percent, or 1.35 billion people, are putting their hearing at risk at events with loud music, such as nightclub festivals. This habit is not only in India, but all over the world. The team of this analysis, published recently in the British Medical Journal, wrote, ‘This puts about one billion young people at risk of hearing loss.’
According to a report by the World Health Organisation, more than 430 million people in the world have hearing problems. At the same time, experts believe that youth are most vulnerable in this matter because they like loud music, be it in an event or in headphones.
I also have a wireless earphone. I only use them when absolutely necessary, like in a rush, when I don’t want to disturb the passenger sitting next to me. I never use headphones which are nowadays called airpods or earbuds etc. I don’t even promote apps that often say to use headphones for better experience. I request that deafening entertainment should not dominate the ears as it is the most important of the five senses. Do not let your children fall prey to such entertainment.
Some may argue that wireless headphones can also act as listening devices. Yes, some research says so. But remember that they are premium machines that cost up to Rs 8.2 lakh and cannot be bought in the Rs 10 to 20 thousand range of the current Airpods. The bottom line is that the next generation of youth has to be saved from becoming a victim of deafness in the future. They need to be told that listening to loud music is not fashionable.