Teens get sneaky with their Apple AirPods. Will business follow?

This behavior is truly disturbing, but it was inspired by Apple itself. And it may come to business meetings.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

A new era in private communication?

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

It's been accepted that teens know more about tech than adults.

This has contributed, of course, to the world's currently parlous state. We let teens create the world's most powerful companies and then were surprised that these companies were built upon foundations of abject irresponsibility.

The kids patronize us all the same. They can take any gadget and make it do untold things in an instant. Some of those things are a touch putrid.

This week, a video has wafted around the web that may turn your head away or your stomach around. Or your mind toward emigration to undeveloped land.

You see, this video showed the fun way kids are apparently communicating in class. With each other, that is.

It appears they're swapping a single Apple AirPod of theirs for a single Apple AirPod of their friends. Next, they quietly type little messages using some text-to-speech app and their friends can listen to those messages while the teacher explains the highlights of the reproductive system.

One can, of course, see the joy in this, as well as envisaging many, many questions.

What glory to be able to talk without actually moving your lips. How clever must one feel to be fooling one's teachers? There's nothing like technology that makes you feel very clever.

Moreover, it was Apple that first thought of the basic principle of AirPods sharing. The company's 2017 Christmas ad showed two strangers splitting a pair of AirPods so that they could, oh, dance in the street.

But let's turn to the dark side. Isn't this behavior just a touch yucky? Personally, I don't like inserting anything into my ears. I'd be especially reluctant to shove in something that's just been inside someone else's ear. Especially as, these days, people seem to keep their AirPods in all the time. Even during sex

Moreover, you'd have to have long hair -- or at least some hair -- to conceal your AirPod from your teacher.

I fear, though, that once business types -- and I have no intention of using the word millennials here -- get wind of this ruse, they'll be trying it in their next long, boring meeting. Which is almost every meeting.

Why, one person can appear to be making copious notes on their phones about the fascinating information being imparted, while in fact communicating to their close, AirPodded friend: "I don't think Frank slept at home last night." Or: "I think Jeremy has had work. Just look at that forehead."

Yes, they could text such a message. But it's surely more entertaining to be hearing it while no one else can. It's an enormous upgrade on passing notes on folded pieces of paper.

That's the real uplift of technology, making something appear really new. Until you realize it's just the old thing in a new package.

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