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Air-duds: how an Apple product has become a menacing phenomenon and cult aesthetic

As you walk down Fairfax, you notice something peculiar. You’re getting stares from random strangers, glares from little kids, sulky looks from joggers, startlingly loud honks from drivers, and you wonder what could be making you the target of this ridicule. Why is your heart beating at double speed? Why does it feel as though your skin is melting off your body? Why does the outrageously dry L.A. weather seem ten times hotter than usual?

You consider every possibility––do you have chocolate in your teeth, have you been dragging toilet paper on your shoe, have you forgotten to put pants on, did you forget to brush your teeth, did you put your top on backwards? You check up and down your body, take a quick sniff of your breath and examine the surrounding area. There are no signs of anything out of the ordinary.

 Suddenly, you become aware of a choking around your neck––a tangle of thin grey cords skim your neck and rest on your chest, weighing you down and pulling you to the floor. Immediately, you realize what has made you the center of this ridicule, of this public shame: in an era ruled by AirPods, your technologically obsolete wire headphones have drawn attention.

AirPods aren’t just Apple products that aim to make the life of your average music listener less cluttered. They have become a cultural phenomenon and widespread status symbol, shunning all other types of earphones into the shadows. 

I did once own a pair of these life-altering AirPods, but as I have with all of my Apple technology thus far in my life, I inevitably lost them, and with them my dignity.

I never anticipated feeling self-conscious on the street without them, but I now can’t help but notice that nearly every person I pass seems to be gleefully blasting their tune of choice through those little white pods, wire-free and worry-free.

Although their sleek design and trendiness certainly make AirPods appealing, they have turned into a dangerous weapon.

Once, as I was walking down the street chatting with one of my friends, I noticed that I was weirdly talkative and she, well, was not. I looked over at my friend to find nothing evidently out of the ordinary––she was looking over at me and nodding occasionally as I talked away. But as she tucked her hair behind the back of her ear––there it was, a little white AirPod forcing its way into my conversation and ultimately putting an end to it.

As headphones have lost their wires, they have started to interfere with human interaction––who would have thought that a tiny little pod could act as such a deceptive tool? 

While there might not be some big lesson that comes from my rant on the cult-esque AirPod phenomenon, I do urge everyone who owns a pair to take one out once in a while and remember from where you came––long rubber wires.

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