King's reacts to Bloomberg's plans to launch crusade against earbuds

NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg is already planning his next project, The Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign, just days after the overturn of his hotly contested soda ban. The mayor seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of listening to loud music via personal music players for long periods of time. Some students at The King’s College see the similarities between the mayor’s two health initiatives.

"Looking at the recent soda size ban, this doesn't surprise me that this is following that. It's a little ridiculous that he's concerned with this, but this is just one of the many things he takes on that characterize his office,” Fisher Derderian (’16), said.


The new Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign will attempt to reach out to young adults through Facebook and Twitter, reported The New York Post. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggest that hearing damage in teens jumped 30 percent between 1988 and 2006. This time period marks a rise in the use of personal music players, with the Sony Walkman’s introduction in the 80s and the iPod in the past decade.

Mayor Bloomberg has been known for his crusade against unhealthy behavior, from his crackdown on junk food and sugary drinks to prohibiting smoking in parks. In many subways, signs suggest easy ways to fit in exercise and offer ways to burn off the calories from your morning latte or doughnut.

Many students are frustrated that Bloomberg has chosen to address teen’s hearing as a major concern when they see more pressing issues in New York City.

“It's already affected my hearing but I'm not going to change anything about it. I like to listen to my music loud. But, of all the issues that he could choose, I don't understand why music volume is at the top of his list,” Alex Price (’16) said.

Still, some see Bloomberg’s concern for the public’s overall well-being as a small but significant part of his job. Kelly Cannon (’16), doesn’t believe that the campaign will affect her. Even so, she sees this initiative as an aspect of Bloomberg’s mayoral duties.

“I don't think he's overstepping; I think he's doing a small part of his job,” Cannon said.

Although Jon Craig (’16) believes that the campaign will lack much impact, he doesn’t see the hearing campaign on the same level as the “Soda Ban.”

“If he was going to form a law out of it, like the soda ban, then he would be drastically overstepping his boundaries,” Craig said.

Dr. Joseph Loconte, Associate Professor of History at The King’s College, sees how small campaigns like this can collectively have large effects on the role of government.

“I think the thing that you worry about with a Bloomberg is the nanny state,” Loconte said.

Loconte also wishes that the mayor would focus more on the roots of society’s problems and not just the symptoms: “I would so appreciate it more if the mayor was more deeply concerned about all the pressures and challenges on the family. If he could give the amount of attention to strengthening the family that he wants to give to the other sort of what he regards as ‘social ills,’ I think that his time and his effort would be better spent,” Loconte said.

Annalise Bourgeois (’16)  agrees. “It’s definitely an issue but there are way bigger fish to fry.”