Sunday, August 19, 2007

How to Treat Teenagers - like Dogs or like Adults

I have seen numerous reports of places where loitering teenagers have driven the local businesses and their patrons to lean to 'The Mosquito', which emits a high-pitched sound inaudible to us older folk and very unpleasant to hear, in the hopes that it would drive away teenagers loitering in communal areas and just causing the usual trouble the aimless young create.

British shopkeepers tired of teenage loiterers have turned to the Mosquito teen repellent, which emits a high-pitch frequency that most teenagers can hear — but not most adults.

Reports exist of it being used in various places in the USA and Canada too.

But it has an unintended consequence.

But now teens have struck back against the Mosquito: They are using the same sound to communicate without adults' knowledge.

At issue is a text-message ringtone that emits the same pitch as the Mosquito. Using it, students can learn about a new message while they're in class — where they're not supposed to be using their cellphones. Most of their teachers can't hear the alert.

My preference is for the Austrian approach, at least in Krems.

Betrunkene, grölende Jugendliche haben in der Kremser Innenstadt immer wieder für Anrainerbeschwerden gesorgt. Nun will man am Hohen Markt mit klassischer Musik den Lärm verringern und Jugendliche von dort wegbringen.

Translation (very rough): "Drunken noisy youth are always causing trouble in the Krems inner city. Now playing classical music in the High Market should get rid of the noise and drive the youth from the area."

Generally, apparently, this has worked.

And the subversive response is harder to find here.


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