DEAR ABBY: I'm a 12-year-old girl who loves music and electronics. I sit on the swing and listen to music on my iPod through my earbuds. I do it at least a half-hour every day -- sometimes more.
When my grandma visited a few weeks ago, she tried to talk to me when I was giving my iPod my undivided attention. When I finally realized she was talking to me, I took my earbuds out so I could hear her. She told me the earbuds were going to make me deaf. (I listen on four or five notches.)
One night we were playing a card game where you have to play really fast and watch a gazillion piles of cards at once. The game made me dizzy, and I said so at the end of the round. Grandma said it was because of my iPod. It was all I could do to say politely, "No, it's not."
Is there a way to tell her to stop blaming my iPod for everything? I consider my iPod a friend. -- MUSIC LOVER IN ARIZONA
DEAR MUSIC LOVER: Loud noises can damage a person's hearing, and there is legitimate concern that the sound levels at which people listen to music cause hearing problems.
However, I suspect your grandmother is less concerned with the damage your iPod will do "on four or five notches" than she is about the fact that you don't give her your full attention when you're spending time together. I'm surprised your parents haven't mentioned to you that showing good manners means being polite, respectful and not ignoring your grandmother when she's trying to talk to you or play a game with you.