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Can kids get a digital high?

Internet censorship justification plan #48527: call it a drug

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We all know that music can alter your mood. Sad songs can make you cry. Upbeat songs may give you an energy boost. But can music create the same effects as illegal drugs?

This seems like a ridiculous question. But Web sites are targeting your children with so-called digital drugs. These are audio files designed to induce drug-like effects.

All your child needs is a music player and headphones.

Binaural beats

There are different slang terms for digital drugs. They're often called "idozers" or "idosers." All rely on the concept of binaural beats.

It is incorrect to call binaural beats music. They're really ambient sounds designed to affect your brain waves.

For binaural beats to work, you must use headphones. Different sounds are played in each ear. The sounds combine in your brain to create a new frequency. This frequency corresponds to brain wave frequencies.

There are different brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are related to different states like relaxation and alertness. Digital drugs supposedly synchronize your brain waves with the sound. Hence, they allegedly alter your mental state.

Binaural beats create a beating sound. Other noises may be included with binaural beats. This is intended to mask their unpleasant sound.

Digital drugs

Some sites provide binaural beats that have innocuous effects. For example, some claim to help you develop extrasensory powers like telepathy and psychokinesis.

Other sites offer therapeutic binaural beats. They help you relax or meditate. Some allegedly help you overcome addiction or anxiety. Others purport to help you lose weight or eliminate gray hair.

However, most sites are more sinister. They sell audio files ("doses") that supposedly mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana.

But it doesn't end there. You'll find doses that purportedly mimic the effects of LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. There are also doses of a sexual nature. I even found ones that supposedly simulate heaven and hell.

Many are skeptical about the effects of digital drugs. Few scientific studies have been conducted on binaural beats. However, a Duke University study suggests that they can affect mood and motor performance.

Should you worry?

Companies that sell digital drugs claim they're safe. Supposedly, they won't affect your physical health. Let's think about this for a moment. The sites claim binaural beats cause the same effects as illegal drugs. These drugs impair coordination and can cause hallucinations. They've caused countless fatal accidents, like traffic collisions.

If binaural beats work as promised, they are not safe. They could also create a placebo effect. The expectation elicits the response. Again, this is unsafe.

At the very least, digital drugs promote drug use. Some sites say binaural beats can be used with illegal drugs.

The sites also look favorably on the effects of illegal drugs. So, talk to your children. Make sure they understand the dangers of this culture. It could be a small jump from digital drugs to the real thing.

Contact Kim Komando at gnstech@gns.gannett.com.

Posted by: Rebelnerd
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Posted in: News by NewsBot on August 19, 2008 @ 12:00 AM

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