Warning: You are about to activate Audioboost

Turning up the volume — ’cause baby, that’s rock ‘n’ roll!  Hmm…sound is not great, maybe I need new headphones.  Then I notice a message on my screen:

WARNING: You are about to activate Audioboost and exceed the recommended safe limits of the BlackBerry smartphone.  Damage to your hearing may result.  Consult the website before proceeding.

I override the message, thinking:  How nice.  Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis care about my well-being.  (Yes, I’ve seen this message prior to John Chen’s tenure.)

Then it occurs to me — I’ve seen this message prior to John Chen’s tenure.  Hmm.  Maybe I shouldn’t casually activate Audioboost.  Maybe there is a reason BB is taking precautionary measures against potential lawsuits.

How often do we casually disregard health and safety warnings?

We go about our lives enjoying food that’s been cooked in hydrogenated oils, we text while we cross the street, we drive that short distance without our seat belts, we ride like the wind on our motorcycles, we take a drag on our cigarette, we stick the needle into our arm….

We may not even notice some of these risks as we take care of ourselves in other ways: we try to eat more vegetables; we glance around while we’re texting; we wear our seat belts when driving longer distances; we only speed on our motorcycles when we don’t see anyone else; we only smoke cigarettes half-way now; we’re going to 12-step meetings….

Risks and consequences

We understand the risks and possible consequences.  We may choose these risks because the reward is greater.  We rationalize that some kind of damage is going to happen somehow, and who knows how long we’re going to live anyway, so why not.  Because we have to die of something, right?

But, deep down, we don’t think we will be among the casualties.  The bell, after all, does not really toll for thee.

The bell tolls for thee

Until, one day, it does.  We experience consequences.  Or, someone else does as a result of our actions.

Then we’re at the threshold of that consequence, that new reality.  Then what wouldn’t we give to go back and make a different choice.

But, baby, that’s rock ‘n’ roll!  After all, did Sid Vicious lose his hearing?  Hmm…maybe he did and just didn’t notice?

Maybe I need better quality headphones, so the music sounds just as good at lower volumes.  Is that even possible?  Dr. Dre?

Stay beautiful, baby.



3 thoughts on “Warning: You are about to activate Audioboost

  1. Oh what an interesting take on health and how we see the risks we take in life….
    Part of my company “Bulldogs Turf Solutions” products is the induction of Golf course staff into the risks and SOP’s of course equipment… the new statutes on OH and Safety require every employee to point out the risks involved in operating any equipment, as well as completing any required work instruction…. I spend hours instructing on the dangers of operating equipment and what can be the consequence of an incorrect operation….
    It is always fascinating the questions put to me about why the manufactures warn of these, what they see as ridiculous, hazards. One tries to explain the consequence, and the possible legal litigation that could result from an accident in other countries…. they cannot understand this, as here we have a labour department that will prosecute an employer, if it can be proven they are responsible for the equipment being operated incorrectly and the employee never being told of the danger….
    However, whilst pointing out all the risks involved, one tries to instill a form of self recognition of risks that could arise in every situation… there seems to be a total lack of concern for this, the attitude of “what will be will be” seems to be upper most in the minds of those I induct….
    But then when one sees what we do on our roads everyday I can understand why… I saw a woman applying makeup using her rear view mirror, whilst talking on a cell phone hooked between her ear and shoulder, all of this whilst driving the car with two young children in the back seats, neither of which were wearing seat belts…. and this is not unusual, so why heed a warning on a product that may damage your hearing later in life??
    Great article or post, I love these sort of literary debate..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is some intensive training, which is a good thing! Yet, the lack of concern among employees (and people in general) is fascinating. If any injury results from incorrect equipment operation, litigation would be cold comfort. I wonder whether there is a psychological term for this type of casual disregard for risk? Is it part of our evolutionary makeup; our brains need to process and accept risk in order for us to survive in the world? As to our driving habits, I’m surprised more people aren’t killed and injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Exactly, why do we not worry about risks that can cause (or are even likely to cause) harm in future years? Thanks, Rob, I’m glad you like this post 🙂


  2. I gave much thought to your post yesterday after leaving a book as a comment… when i was a youngster, and that is many years ago now, we did many things with total disregard to the risks we were taking… sure we went to the border to fight terrorist on a regular basis and probably could have lost our lives at any time whilst there, but did this mean we had to live life dangerously.?… It is only in the last 5 to 10 years that I have given a thought to the risk I might be taking in everything I do daily… sure training, or inducting others into the risks of operating golf course equipment has probably made me more aware of analysing the risks I take, but, and this is a big BUT, sometimes over analysis of risk can create a bigger risk and natural instinct should be trusted to react when needed….
    When I train or induct people, I try not to instill in them the thought of everything that could go wrong, but rather to try and automatically spot a potential danger, or possible accident that could happen… automatic risk assessment I think is something built into all of us, some merely listen to it more than others….
    When walking in the bush after animals or birds, I don’t wander watching the ground the whole time looking for possible snakes that could do me a lot of damage should they bite me… If this was the case I’d never see the animals and birds, but I think there now is a natural instinct in my mind that tells me when to look down due to the terrain or type of grass and bush I’m walking in… so again with a book I say that I’m sure we are all born with an automatic risk assessor in our minds that we either learn to use, or in the case of others never bother to use… have a good day…


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s