Right or wrong, one of lifes' great pleasures is sticking cotton buds into your ears, and giving your inner head a bit of a poke. It's like suddenly being able to reach that itchy spot on your back that you've never been able to get to before. The finger obviously is helpful to a certain point, but if you want to get right in there and get to the sweet spot, you need a cotton bud.
I know that you are thinking I'm gross, or tsk tsking me, saying 'don't you know how dangerous that is?'. But deep down (probably in the nether-regions of your ear) you know I'm right.
To be fair, I probably do push the envelope a little too far. Sometimes I'm left with a ringing for a few days, and the world around me suddenly seems to be full of mimes. My wife speaks silent exhortations, and I nod politely.
Sometimes when I prod inside my left ear, complex mathematical equations flitter before my eyes, and I have the sudden urge to don a lab coat. True story. And other times, when I'm prodding the right, I start speaking in poetic stanzas, and the world around me becomes all Monet-ish and impressionistic. Also true.
The other day I was watching some show, and a Professional, talking about cleaning ears, said very gravely "but make sure you never stick a cotton bud in your ear". I get that there can be danger, but if the things are going to continue to be manufactured, it has to be accepted that this is what they are going to be mostly used for. Not arts and crafts. They are made to go into ears.
It's like making shoes, but then saying, "oh by the way, shoes will make your feet fall off, so remember that they are only to be used for storing grain, or for whimsical cut flower arrangements". If they are going to make feet fall off, take them off the market.
BONUS FUN FACT: When Polish-born American Jew Leo Gerstenzang invented the cotton bud in 1923, he named his product "Baby Gays".