The New York Times has provided validation for one of my many pet peeves: earbuds. Virginia Heffernan, who writes The Medium column in the NYT Magazine, cites research that earbuds are bad for your hearing. No offense to the scientists who conducted the research, because I'm excited to have proof--but we needed a study to prove this? Really, that blasting music into a device that you shove in your ears will cause hearing loss?
Virgina laments the fact that hearing loss in teenagers has jumped 33 percent since 1994, but her larger point is the isolation that escalating earbud use fosters in our society. Totally agree, and my kids aren't allowed to use earbuds, but I am, according to many, a neurotic lunatic.
The main thing I want to focus on here, though, is the pain engendered by earbuds. Doesn't it hurt you to cram those things into your ears? I just won't do it. I have the old fashioned kind of headphones that fit over your ears. It occurs to me that earbuds are the aural equivalent of thongs. Am I overly sensitive? Maybe.