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.