Obnoxious Sounds As Deterrents to Young People

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

Yeah, I passed the test, but it made me feel like my brain was trying to escape out of my ears.

I’d heard about this tone quite a while ago, first as a cellphone ringtone because kids loved that their cell phones could ring without their teachers realizing, but also as a deterrent by shop keepers. I know that I wouldn’t stick around if I could hear that tone. This reminds me, in a sense of Jeff Atwood’s post on Monday about Rate Limiting, where he features a photograph of a door which has a sign limiting only three students in the store at a time.

Personally, I’m not sure it’s ever worth alienating an entire class of customers, particularly young customers. Hell, even at times when having younger people around definitely can interfere with my shopping (Comic Book Shops or Game Stores), I just can’t imagine begrudging them the right to be at the store. Sure, things occasionally need to be dealt with, but it just seems to me that those issues can be dealt with on a case by case basis. But, if that’s what the shop-owner wants…whatever.

Not that I’m against sound as a deterrent. LRAD is one of the coolest things ever, and it has been used successfully to fend off pirates on the high seas and stuff. However, LRAD is at least a directed sound beam, whereas using this mosquito sound as a deterrent is just painfully generally.