Use of technology must be tempered

MP3 users hearing damage warning

According to the BBC World Edition, “(t)he iPod is the world’s most popular digital music player. The surge in sales of iPods and other portable music players in recent years could mean many more people will develop hearing loss, experts fear….

“If the volume through headphones is too high, there is a real risk of permanent damage to hearing, they say.

Sydney’s National Acoustic Laboratories found a quarter of personal music system users in a random sample listened to music at dangerous volumes…”

As I drive around town or walk down the street, I see folks, both young and old, with things in their ears or their arms in a 90 degree angle. They’re either listening to an “iPod” or talking on a cell phone. I remember traveling on a train, a 4 hours ride in Italy, and the young woman next to me was talking on her cell phone the entire time.

Unless we take time to think, to listen to our inner voice, we miss out on the beauty of the world … and we miss out on the ability to listen to our “inner voice” guiding us along our path.

This is not the “touchy feely” stuff that type A personalities complain of … this is what is needed to make sure the type A personalities (and others) clearly see the path they need to travel in both their professional and personal lives.

Or, said another way, control the volume in your life so that you can hear what’s around you.

I suppose that’s why the Motor Vehicle Code provides that drivers (and cyclists) cannot have plugs in both ears at the same time. Some time ago, I happened to be riding next to someone with one ear plug, listening to music. He told me that he received a ticket for riding with plugs in both ears and he learned his lesson. The real cost was not the couple of hundred dollars for the moving violation; the real cost was that the offense went on his driving record and his insurance company charged him one unit which increased his insurance premium by more than $1,000 for each of the next 3 years!

That’s a tangible penalty for missing out on the world. But, think about the intangible penalties of missing great opportunities in our business because we’re too “plugged up” to hear or see them.


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