Blasting Out of Control

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

MANY of us take for granted the ability to control our technology devices. It is something that we do on a regular basis. For example, you may: tune your radio to your favourite station, change your television to a particular channel, set the temperature on your refrigerator, and set the rate at which water flows through a tap. These are such basic actions that we probably don’t spend time thinking about them.

How would you feel if the technology did not respond to your control? You would probably be annoyed if your settings were not maintained, and caused some disturbance. For example:

* The radio changes to another station and you miss some important news;
* The tap flow rate increases and the overflow causes a spill;
* The temperature in the fridge changed, and caused your food to spoil.

When your settings that are not adhered to, that apparent loss of control can be alarming, and represents a fault to be fixed. Similarly, when viruses and malware infect your computer, they cause actions that you did not specify, which is an unwanted situation.

In developed nations, broadcasting and advertising authorities set various limits such as the type of content to be shown, and the allowed broadcast volume levels. In particular, they restrict the difference in the volume level while airing advertisements.

When you are scanning the TV channels for a particular show, you might notice the differences in volume levels while channel surfing. Helpfully, some televisions have a feature that maintains the volume level as you switch from channel to channel.

What about the situation when viewing a single channel? If volume level are regularly exceeded just for advertisements, it can be very distracting. As someone in control of the noise level in your household, do you appreciate being forced to reach for the remote when an advertisement is being shown? Do your sleeping children dream of the loud, jarring advertisements which might wake them from their slumber?

If would seem that our regulatory authorities and broadcasters are overdue for discussions on maintaining control of the volume levels of advertisements, to safeguard our peace and comfort level. Each occurrence of this volume level change represents a disturbance and distraction. Beyond the irritating noise levels, the true damage is probably to our sense of control. Some control seems to be missing.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.

About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is the Owner/Chief Technology Officer of Datashore, an ICT business which provides advice on the safe and correct use of your computing infrastructure, and policy development.

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