“Wireless, effortless, magical” or “Wireless, expensive, lost”?

AirPods infiltrate the marketplace and hinder social interaction


Artwork by Akhila Johny

In Sept. 2017, a revolutionary product hit the market. A product so grand, it literally united every generation from the baby boomers to generation Z; a product so small, it’s as easily lost as chapstick; a product so overpriced that people would rather spend their paychecks on it than groceries; a product that is almost identically functioning as Beats by Dre’s Powerbeats 2.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the AirPod.

I really couldn’t tell you when I became informed of this new, innovative Apple product. Like glitter, they kind of just appeared, and once they did, they were everywhere: In people’s ears, in the bubble-shaped case they come packaged in and in the crack of the seats of people’s cars after they accidentally fell out, even though they’re supposedly ‘really secure.’

I don’t in any way mean to bash on AirPods themselves or Apple as a company. I have an iPhone 8 and I worship it. I understand what the Apple hype is all about, trust me, I am of this generation. Therefore, my biggest issue with AirPods is that they cause a loss of connection between individuals, and I’d argue even more than a cell phone itself.

When people put AirPods in their ears, they are inadvertently sending a message to everybody in their surroundings, loud and clear, saying “I’m listening to music. Back off.” Regardless of if the AirPod wearer intends this or not, this is the message they effectively displaying because it can be assumed that if one is wearing pods, they are displacing themselves from their surroundings.

This leads me to my second point. It is really annoying and quite rude when AirPod users wear their pods when they aren’t listening to music.

It’s not that I really care if you think they are a cute accessory or not and want to wear them to add to your aesthetic. It’s the fact that everyone else assumes that you’re distracted by what’s being played through the pods, and therefore your chances for social interaction diminish.

AirPod owners have in essence created a community that is willing to pay $159 for wireless headphones and enjoys belittling those without AirPod ownership. It has become a fad on Twitter for AirPods users to tweet “It smells like broke in here,” or “I can’t even hear you because you’re broke.”

What these people fail to realize, though, is that not everyone without AirPods can’t afford them, and not everyone with AirPods can. The fact that Airpods have taken higher precedence than basic necessities such as food and clothing baffles me. People’s socioeconomic status is not acceptable material for trendy jokes. Individuals who choose to poke fun at people’s wealth, or lack thereof, are essentially becoming a proponent of an elitist and classist society whose only focus is money.

Therefore, please refrain from laughing under your breath if I walk past you wearing my wired headphones. The stretchy, flexible chord of the headphones ensures that neither earpiece will be misplaced, nor do regular headphones require charging for unlimited use. Yes, they often tangle when left in the depths of one’s backpack for some time, but the process of unraveling the chord stimulates the mind and leaves a sense of accomplishment within the user once they finally plug in their headphones and start jamming.

Plus, why should you care that my earphones have wires? They’re accessible, less likely to be lost and work just as efficiently.

My wired headphones came free of charge with my cell phone, and therefore I’m going to make the most of them.

AirPods aren’t as hype as you all think, and that’s the tea.