However, I wanted to bring up a striking point that really made me realize about how our world has changed remarkably in the last few years.
A few months ago, when I was first fitted with the hearing aids, my audiologist set the default volume level to be “on target” for me. The hearing aid is designed to provide different amounts of power to people depending on their raw hearing level. There’s a volume control on it which goes from “1” (weak) to “4” (powerful), which I can easily adjust as I wish. The baseline setting is “3”, but this baseline is what audiologist adjust on a case-by-case basis. This means my “3” (and thus, my “1” and “4” settings) may be more powerful, less powerful, or the same compared to the respective settings for someone else.
When my audiologist first fit the hearing aids for me, I felt that my left hearing aid was too quiet and my right one too loud by default, so she modified the baselines.
She also, critically, gave me about a week to adjust to the hearing aids, and I was to report back on whether its strength was correctly set.
During that week, I wore the hearing aids, but I then decided that I was originally mistaken about both hearing aids, since I had to repeatedly increase the volume for the left one and decrease the volume for the right one.
I reported back to my audiologist and said that she was right all along, and that my baselines needed to be back to their default levels. She was able to corroborate my intuition by showing me — amazingly – how often I had adjusted the hearing aid volume level, and in which direction.
Hearing aids are, apparently, now fitted with these advanced sensors so they can track exactly how you adjust them (volume controls or otherwise).
The lesson is that just about everything nowadays consists of sensors, a point which is highlighted in Thomas L. Friedman’s excellent book Thank You for Being Late. It is also a characteristic of what computer scientists refer to as the “Internet of Things.”
Obviously, these certainly aren’t the hearing aids your father wore when he was young.