Published Jul 15, 2010Music listening and drug use have a long-standing connection, from the psychedelic craze of the '60s to the ecstasy-fuelled raves of the '90s. But the two have never been quite so closely intertwined as now, as kids are apparently turning to the Internet to get high off MP3s. It's been dubbed "i-dosing," and if sensationalistic media reports are to be believed, it's everywhere.
According to I-Doser.com [via AUX/Wired], a website that makes and sells these apparent digital drugs, "Using proven, scientific, and safe methods of synchronizing your brainwaves, a simulated state can be achieved through the use of our advanced audio CDs, or the I-Doser Application, and a pair of high quality stereo headphones."
In other words, the MP3s use electronic pulses and drones to synchronize your brain waves. These mind-altering sounds are mixed with "soothing backtracks of ambient soundscapes to help the brain induce of state of mood lift, euphoria, sedation, and hallucination."
The whole thing sounds a bit like a scam, but apparently it works - at least judging by the many reaction videos posted on YouTube, showing listeners (usually teenage males) tripping out while listening to a track called "Gates of Hades."
Despite all the making of an Internet gag, parent groups have already expressed their concern that i-dosing might act a gateway drug (watch this report by Oklahoma City's News 9). In fact, Oklahoma's Mustang Public School District has banned MP3 players in an attempt to combat i-dosing. As these reports note, the I-Doser website contains links to other sites offering marijuana, hash and pills.
On the other hand, I-Doser.com claims, "We have received many emails from users who have used I-Doser doses to help them kick the habit of recreational drug."
Of course, there are some experts out there who claim that i-dosing is indeed a scam. In an interview on NPR, researcher Dr. Waheh said, "We did a small controlled study with four people, and we did not see any brain wave activity shifting to match the binaural beat that people were listening to."
The track "Gates of Hades" can be heard here. Listen at your own discretion and, y'know, not while you're driving or operating any heavy machinery.