For this weeks assignment I decided to do the less risky option of moral panics and explored the world of I-dosing. Since I have heard nothing but horrific stories about Chatroulette I decided to steer clear. When MySpace was the cool online hang out I quickly became obsessed, and used its artistic layouts to express myself. However, I never dabbled in the dangerous aspects of MySpace and left it as soon as it started to fade. This left me seeing MySpace as more of a boring option to choose when exploring technopanics.
I sat down and dove into the world of i-dosing at the end of a long Tuesday and sampled one labeled “Energy Drink”. I found this and many others at Binaural Beats. The reviews had people raving about how well it picked them up when they were feeling sluggish. However, I am not sure how convinced I really was after experiencing it. It was that time of day for me when I feel like ditching the homework and spending the rest of the night lounging around. This made me think I would be the perfect candidate for this virtual pick-me-up.
While experiencing the i-dosing I tried to not be distracted by anything else and let the different sound waves do their dirty work. After about 10-15 minutes of listening I was definitely more alert but I am not sure this had the same effect as a real live energy drink streaming through my system. I feel like having two different sound waves coming directly into your ear drums is comparable to a mental wake up, for the time being. The comments people left were outrageously positive and left me thinking I would never need to drink coffee again. Although, after experiencing it I am not left fully convinced on how affective this really was.
As far as this activity being considered a technopanic I am left unsure here as well. If anything I think that this would harm young people’s eardrums but I do not see the argument that young people are using this outlet as a way to be on another level and also experience any type of high. Maybe if the conditions were different such as higher quality ear phones or at a very high volume I could see a greater impact, but after my experience I was just in awe at how addictive these buzzing and rumbling noises seem to be.
Fearful to venture into the world of chatroulette and unsure of where to start on myspace, my curiousity was peaked by the phenomenon known as “i-dosing”. Initially unsure of what i-dosing was I naturally had to do the first thing one ever does when beginning research: I googled. Google returned a lot of information, but an article on the Smoking Jacket summed it up quite nicely: http://www.thesmokingjacket.com/entertainment/tsj-investigates-will-i-dosing-get-you-high. To sum it up for you, the idea behind i-dosing is that certain music, when listened to, can alter your brainwaves to stimulate the effects of various illicit drugs. I can certainly see why many people, particularly teens, have become excited over the prospect that simply by downloading an mp3 and listening through headphones, one can get “high”. It is important to use headphones because two different tones (binaural beats) are played in each ear but through headphones are perceived by the brain as a single pulsating noise. I-dosing websites offer beats whose effects apparently range from those of “aspirin” to “marijuana” to “heroin” and “The gates of Hades”…uhhhh….
Call me a skeptic on this whole i-dosing trend…but I guess I’ll have to try it out now. The website I am on warns me to lie down in a comfortable place. I chose to see if I can have an “out of body experience” which they describe as:
- You will be able to leave your physical body and start exploring our world and others. OBEs can spontaneously occur during a near death experience, such as through car accident, an operation, and clinical death. The person experiencing this state will suddenly see his or her own body, as if he or she is standing next to it or floating above it. The sensation is like that of being an observer. You will be able to float in any direction you wish and move through walls. Most importantly, you will remember everything and in great detail. The “Out Of Body” track helps you to achieve an OBE while lying in the comfort of your bed. By using high Beta waves, the recording will guide your brainwaves directly to an OBE state, allowing you to leave your body and start exploring new levels of consciousness.
Unforunately the full version is between $10 and 15$ so the sample will have to do. Let’s hope I’m not too incapacitated to finish the rest of my blog post….
Well I did feel very relaxed and sleepy for that one-minute sample, but no crazy effects yet. It’s a very cool idea that sounds could have such a significant effect on one’s body-mind state but I am not sure I buy it. To be fair, I didn’t get the full experience. I would be curious to hear if anyone else has had a more intense experience with i-dosing. While I believe that sounds, music in particular, have the power to shape and change mood I don’t know if they can induce such powerful physical states. I won’t be trading in my coffee for the “coffee break/ energy” beat anytime soon.