Will the Walkman make us all deaf?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

While the Walkman has officially become one of the most popular accessories ever, health experts alerts: loud volume can cause hearing damage or, in the worst case, even hear loss.

In a previous article we have talked about the ‘Walkman-mania’ that has invaded Asia, Europe and North America. Sony, Panasonic and other leading electronic manufactures came up with one of the most revolutionary projects in the music world. A rather small portable music player that allows users to take music with them when they are on the move. Joggers, dancers, sportmen and sportwomen in particular have said nothing but positive things about the Walkman: ‘it is an amazing invention, because now we can have music with us, no matter what we do, no matter where we are. It is much more fun to go for a nice run while enjoying some good tracks‘.

Sony and its ‘companions’ have often used dancers, joggers and sports in their promotional campaigns as well. Check, for example, the image printed on the front of this Sony Walkman pack:

Sales in the electronic market have sky-rocketed, everyone wants to have a Walkman. It was not so long ago that images of the long queues out of electronic stores were one of the main stories in television news. However, the extraordinary portable music player has recently been topic of debate also in less appealing and positive contexts.

Health experts started to study the gadget and they came up with a rather worrying conclusion: loud volume in the Walkman can cause hearing damage or it can even lead, in the worst cases, to hear loss.

The image below shows other kind of noises noises that could cause hearing damages:

Indeed, the Walkman can represent a health threat, if users listen to music with a too-loud volume. However, its manufacturers have already emphasised countless times the importance of using the tool properly. ‘Many other innovations such as the radio or the TV can cause health problems if abused or used irresponsibly. Make sure not to listen to the Walkman at a too-loud volume. Plus, do not use it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Take breaks every now and then and let your ears rest’. This comment released by a Sony’s spokeman last week is pretty accurate. Users have to think about their health first and make sure to use the Walkman responsibly. Parents should keep an extra eye on children using it. A few days ago a campaign to raise awareness on the topic was launched and schools throughout the world have been asked to discuss the topic with their students/Walkman consumers.

The debate, however, is far from over. All we can do at the moment is being responsible and use the Walkman wisely. After all, we are talking about possible damages to our own hearing…

[Pictures Credits: looktothestars.org;

kingygraphicdesignhistory.blogspot.com; dailyinfographic.com]

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