New ringtone signals only kids, puts adults on hold

15 Jun

UNDATED – Can’t hear it? You’re old.

Can hear it? You must be under 20. And on the sneaky side.

A high-frequency sound initially designed to clear out loitering teenagers now has teens gathering on the internet to download the high-pitched tone.

Why? Because adults can’t hear it.

And in the constant battle of wills between teens and their parents (and teachers), the stealth ringtone is the latest weapon teens are using in their constant struggle to stay in touch with each other all the time, anytime, including at school.

How does it work? Audiologists say the hearing ability of most young people has a wider range than that of older folks, since adults have had more time to damage their delicate inner ear with things like bus brakes, construction sites, and marathon Grateful Dead concerts.

Can you hear it? Play the ringtone!

The sound was originally put into use by a convenience store that installed an audio system that playing the sound outside the store to aggravate loitering youths. Adults gassing up or getting some snacks were oblivious.

But it’s apparently bearable to teens in small doses, just like homework or house chores.

So teachers noticing students suddenly smiling during that history final should know that its not the light of realization that’s turning on, it’s a love note arriving via the ether, signaled by the latest stealth sound in the interminable battle of the ages.

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