Talking to your teenage child can occasionally feel like talking to a brick wall (though a brick wall probably has far less attitude). Between the perpetual eye rolls and the earbuds jammed into their ears, it can feel like communication is murky at best.
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There are also the times when you know you’ve been explicitly clear in your directions to a teen… or you thought you were.
But despite telling a 13-year-old boy THREE TIMES to take out the garbage, he still “forgets” to do it (and while I won’t name names, you know who you are, kiddo). These moments beg the question, “Are you even listening to me?”
Well there’s good news, parents. Your teens can hear your requests just fine (they’re ignoring you!) & many other sounds, too. In fact, they’re hearing sounds you yourself might not even be able to hear with your old, weary ears.
An audio clip has become the newest viral trend on social media, pitting teens against their parents as they weigh in on whether or not they can hear the high-pitched frequency featured in the video.
(Like we parents need another reason to argue with our teens??)
The debate began when Facebook user Kodie Helmer posted that she had recently heard about a new trend:
I am NOT 40 yet y’all however, I heard on the radio that some businesses and even towns are using a sound wave as a deterrent for teens after curfew, INTERESTING right?!
Interesting, indeed! The visual picture of a cluster of teens scrambling frantically like rats based on a sound intrigues me. Tell me more-
Curious about these mysterious “sounds”, Kodie explained that she did some research & hunted down a few of these higher-pitch sounds on YouTube.
She then conducted her own experiment; she played the sound for her family.
The results were curious, indeed. While Kodie’s kids and (younger) husband could hear it, Kodie could not!
I need your help! ? Okay so I nabbed me a younger man, I said it….I am slightly OLDER than Chris #cougar ?? BUT I am…
Posted by Kodie Helmer on Sunday, July 21, 2019
As she stated in her post,
This sound in particular cannot be heard by most people over the age of 40.
Kodie was genuinely curious if this theory held true for others, so she implored people to weigh in on the debate. Could they hear the sound or not? And were they over 40 years old or not?
Kodie’s audio query has now become the new internet perception debate. As someone who is, well, definitely over the age of 40…. challenge accepted! Are you ready to weigh in??
The YouTube clip below features the infamous high-pitched audio frequency. According to the theory, while teens can clearly hear the sound, supposedly those over 40 years of age cannot.
Of course I tested this out immediately, with two of my teen daughters. I can report that despite being “like, old enough to not hear like younger people” according to my teen (thanks, teen!), I can clearly hear the sound. So while I may be wrinkled & weary, my ears are apparently still young & vibrant, so there’s that.
My teens could also hear it. But what was interesting is that after one of my daughters went upstairs to her bedroom, I played the sound again, on a fairly low volume.
And from an entire floor away, she hollered down, “Mom, I still hear it! It’s so annoying!”
(A nice little weapon to add to the parental arsenal, maybe??)
Results were mixed, apparently. Many commenters reported that they could hear it, but there were varying degrees of how clearly the sound was transmitted.
Like anything else that’s pointlessly fun on social media, Helmer’s post has been traveling far & wide. It’s already earned over 90K shares since July 21, and 13K people have commented on what they hear… or don’t hear.
If you’re a parent over 40 that didn’t hear the frequency, don’t be discouraged. While your ears may be enjoying semi-retirement, you now possess a tool with which to annoy your teens. My “guilty of neglecting the garbage” teen son was dozing on the couch as I played the sound.
He snapped up immediately, scanning the room. I repeated my audio assault three more times before ‘fessing up. With snorts of glee, of course.
(For the record, pets aren’t thrilled by it, either. My cat bolted from the room after I played the sound, & is still eyeing my phone suspiciously.)
It’s a civil war, people! Families are being torn apart over this debate.
Marriages ending. Lifelong friendships dissolving. Ok, none of those things are really happening, but it’s a fun, silly debate nonetheless.
Are you Team “Young Ears”, or Team “Can’t Hears”??
Lol I am not going to lie but I am literally knocking on 46, September 12th, but I did hear it but with my phones speaker to my ear!! But I also want to say a BIG THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME FIGURE OUT THAT MY 12 AND 1/2 YEAR OLD SON IS NOT LOSING HIS HEARING I LAUGHED SO HARD WHEN YOU SAID THAT HE WAS IGNORING ME BECAUSE I’F YOU ONLY KNEW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE GOTTEN LITERALLY 2 INCHES FROM HIS FACE TO GET A FREAKING ANSWER FROM ME THE NEIGHBORS WILL COME OVER AND ANSWER FOR HIM. OH WOW LOVE IT!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!
I’m 67 and I heard it clearly. Hmmmm. . .
I had to hold my cell phone speaker right to my ear to hear it. I’m pushing 49…..
I turned it in without telling my 12.5 year old son-his head popped up and he was looking around in wonder-I laughed and then confessed! I, on the other hand, am a veeeeery young 49 and I couldn’t hear a damn thing! ? I guess it can explain why you can be right in their faces and the still “forget”!???
Omg that is a horrible sound, heard it no problem and I’m over 40.
Yay I’m NOT as deaf as I though. Lol pushing 45 and heard it clearly ?
I am 47 and that noise! That noise brought tears to my eyes!
Didn’t believe when I read it. Until I tested it on my kids. 16 & 12 year old’s can hear it. Myself and the 7 year old can’t
I’m 51 and could hear it also. Gave me a head ache
I had to turn it up I wanted to throw my phone I’m 40
Over 40 here, but I heard it, and it was annoying, like the sound of a tv screen being on, with no station. Makes me insane! Know who else it made go crazy? My cat! ?
I’m 35 and heard it right away lol my ears feel like they’re still ringing afterwards it’s an awful high pitch noise ??
I’m 39 and that noise was like nails on a chalkboard!!!! Eeeeek
Like nails!!!! Ouch!!!
I’m 73 & I hear that sound all the time
40 and couldn’t hear it. Probably too much blaring the spice girls in the 90s. My 6 yo heard it. She said it sounded like the fire alarm at school only not as loud. ?
I could not hear it. But I am over 40, have tinnitus, and my hearing is not good. Well, I guess you could say I hear it all the time, even when it isn’t playing. 🙁
I’m turning 40 on Monday. My daughter and her friend are 16. I turned this sound video on in my bedroom and instantly started hearing the girls yelling from the kitchen that this “high pitched noise” was hurting their ears. I heard it but it didn’t hurt my ears.
I could barely hear it. My 8 year old was in the next room and said “what is that high pitches sound.”
I’m 42 and I could hear it and it didnt appear loud to me, but when I played it for my 14 y/o son he immediately covered his ears and asked “What is that?!” He said that is was super loud.
I’m 58 and didn’t hear a thing. My 21 year old son couldn’t hear it but maybe that’s because he is 190 miles away. ?
I didn’t hear it untilnI turned my volume all the way up. Meanwhile my teen daughter went on sleeping away.
Yes, but then I’m usually a listener and sensitive to sounds like hums etc
I’m 47 and I could hear it with the tv going and didn’t have to have it up to my ear. I listened for a few secs, about 20 and it got very annoying.
I am 57 and I could hear it. My 18-year-old daughter was very annoyed by it. When I turned it off my ears were ringing and now I have a headache. That’s enough of those kinds of experiments. Interesting though, I must say.