Ring tone

Meagan Powell, 19, and Tracie Guss, 19, both of Glasgow, simulate using their phones while they are working at the Glasgow City Pool.

Neither Meagan Powell nor Tracie Guss have heard about the new cell phone ring tone that only young people can hear.

The ring tone is a high frequency buzzing sound called Mosquito and it was developed in 2005 by a Welsh security company to deter teenagers from loitering at businesses, according to a New York Times’ article.

The sound has since been copied as a cell phone ring tone and is often downloaded off the Internet by students so teachers can’t hear their cell phones ring during class.

Powell, a University of Kentucky sophomore, thinks once the word gets out locally there will be several students who will download the ring tone, but doesn’t understand why they would want it if they put their cell phones on silent or vibrate.

She remembers several students getting into trouble for having their cell phones in class when she was a student at Glasgow High School.

“And it was because they forgot to put them on silent,” she said.

Guss got in trouble herself for having a cell phone in school while a student at Barren County High School. It happened on two occasions.

“Once I was text messaging and once my mom called me,” she said.

Guss was forced to turn her phone in to the office both times and wasn’t allowed to retrieve until the end of the school day.

Now a sophomore at Western Kentucky University, Guss says she can see why her high school teachers didn’t want her to use her cell phone in class.

“It’s really annoying, but you don’t understand that in high school. You just think teachers are out to get you,” she said.

Her college classmates even use their cell phones during exams, she said, and that is distracting.

Haley Lindsey, a senior at Barren County, thinks it’s pretty cool that such a ring tone exists, but doubts she would download it to her phone.

“I’d still be scared some of my teachers would find a way to hear it,” she said.

Justin Shive, also a Barren County senior, said he might consider downloading the ring tone.

“It depends on how much it is,” he said.

Younger people can hear the ring tone, which has been measured at 17 kilohertz, because their hearing has not yet been damaged by loud noises.

“As we get older we hear indifferent frequencies,” said Brian Schriener, hearing aid specialist and owner of Better Hearing Center in Glasgow.

One of the first things to go in older people’s hearing is their ability to hear high frequencies.

“Their high frequency perception is what decreases first,” he said.

Young people can hear sounds measuring 8,000 hertz or higher, but older people can’t. A normal ear hears sounds between 125 to 8,000 hertz, he said.


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