A Crippled Generation? — part 4 of 3

Everywhere I look I see a crippled generation. I don’t mean people with actual physical or mental disabilities, but those people who are crippling themselves. This issue might actually be crippling people.

Continued from “A Crippled Generation? — part 3 of 3
A Crippled Generation? — part 2 of 3
A Crippled Generation? — part 1 of 3

I wrote about how people are essentially handicapping themselves with fashions, technology, and the choices they make. But this “4th” article is about something that not only might affect a person while using it, but also might affect their future.

young-woman-with-cell-phone 2 800I mentioned in part 1 of 3 about smart phones and how the way many use them essentially ties up one hand all the time. There is another issue to do with them, and a once prominent device, the mp3 player, like the iPods.

Many people put in their ear-buds or put on their headphones intent on blocking out the outside world. Some even have noise cancelling headphones to create an excellent environment for listening to their music… or language course, or news channel.

This creates an issue for some where they are oblivious to the things going on around them.

350px-headphones_1Did you know that a young man was actually killed when he was struck by a helicopter that was making a crash landing? Apparently he couldn’t hear it because he was listening to “his tunes”.

That example is a bit extreme, but there have also been people struck by trains, cars, trucks…. I haven’t heard of anyone run down by a submarine though.

There can be two issues, one is having your ears covered or having the ear-buds in the ear and impeding outside sounds from getting in. The other is the volume at which the music is being played. I know from personal experience that if you play music at a modest volume, you can hear what is going on around you.

A stack of the iPods I now own... included are...

A stack of the iPods I now own… included are the 1Gb iPod shuffle (2nd Gen), iPod nano Product(RED) 4Gb (2nd Gen), iPod mini 4Gb, iPod 20Gb (4th Gen), and iPod video 80Gb (5.5 Gen). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I am listening to my iPod, other people can’t hear the music, but very often even from a half-dozen feet away I can hear other folks’ music filtering out of their headphones or ear-buds — sometimes quite loudly. I figure it isn’t so much the ear-buds or headphones causing people to be oblivious to the outside world but the sheer volume… loudness of the music.

They have laws in some places that place some restrictions on the usage of headphones and ear-buds. Here, you can only have one of the two ear-buds in your ear while operating a motor vehicle. I imagine that headphones aren’t allowed.


Very similarly to the issue with personal music players (smart phone or mp3 player) are “boom cars“. These are the vehicles where the driver’s music is played at such a sound level you can hear it from many car-lengths away. Not only is this noise pollution annoying, but for the occupants of the car the results over time is deafening.

Behind the ear aid

Behind the ear aid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mean that playing music that loud in a vehicle or with a personal music player, you are damaging your hearing.

I figure it is quite sad that some of the people who get the greatest enjoyment from music are causing themselves to slowly go deaf.

Taken as a whole, Cell phone in hand, wide temple glasses, hoodie on, pants down to the knees, and high platform shoes, makes for a very crippling ensemble. You can add personal music player and boom cars to that list.  Some would refer to it with this one word:


Here is one more look at the topic. I hope you have had a chance to check out the cartoon: The New Handicap — Wheel Tales of Willow City

The New Handicap

The New Handicap by DWPenner