Pest Control?

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There’s a device out there that is supposed to repel anybody under the age of about 25 out of an area with high-frequency sound waves. This is supposed to cause “pain and irritation” to the young, while older people with older ears can’t hear it.

To be honest, my first thought was, “My God, don’t let the Hillary Clinton for President people hear about this device!” :), but really, this is such a dehumanizing use of technology.

I suppose it’s better than tear gas or tasers or rubber bullets, but in all those instances, aren’t you supposed to do something bad first before you get that kind of treatment?

Apparently, any old store owner can buy one of these things and turn it on whenever he or she feels like it, (or just leave it on). Like some form of pest control.

I must admit, it is nondiscriminatory. It harasses everyone still hanging on to all their hairs in their inner ears, regardless of race, creed, color or behavior. The honor student gets treated exactly like the hooligan.

I don’t know about you, but if I were hanging around with more than a little intent to raise hell, an irritant like this might give me a clue on who or what deserves the hell.

What is most disturbing, though, is not the device itself, but the attitude behind it: if we deem X group as being undesirable or annoying on general principle, we have the right to use technical means to drive you away.

I’m sorry, but this sounds a lot like the Klan for Kids.

It’s not that I couldn’t see a use for these things when rules are being broken, and I’m sure not every group of teens in a mall are stopping for an ice cream sundae on the way to Bible class.

But treating people like pests regardless of their behavior is no way to get better behavior.

A Suggestion

This is not the first time retailers have tried to use sound to keep teenagers away. However, at least they tried to do so by causing aesthetic rather than physical pain.

To me, this is far more acceptable and much less 1984-ish than pumping uncomfortable noise into sensitive young ears.



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