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Words + Internet

Let me explain

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There is a perfectly good reason why I have decided to wear these in my ears. Still, I’m not certain I know the reason. Let’s dig in and see why one would decide to walk around looking somewhat silly.

Comfort
This is definitely true and a lie. I have covered this before, but I love to belabor a point so let’s start with the lie (see a past post for said belaboring, This vest is so comfortable). When we buy something out of our comfort zone, we often use the excuse of comfort so we can justify our decision as practical. “You’re wrong, Adam! I am not as shallow as you. I make decisions based on comfort.” You may be right. If that is true, you’d better be rocking New Balance walking shoes, a Hanes Beefy tee and elastic waist Blair jeans. That is objectively the most comfortable in existence.

Sidebar: The internet rules. You can Google something dumb and learn something awesome. According to the Blair site, “Blair is your best stop for men's elastic waist pants. Our stretch waist jeans are perfect for a casual get together, relaxed style features a drawstring waist with elastic back for an easy, adjustable fit.”

 Blair if you dare.

Blair if you dare.

However, these AirPods are pretty comfortable and most importantly, they do not fall out of my ears. Be it for a run, a lunch time stroll to Chipotle or just wearing them in the office and confusing coworkers as to whether or not I am on the phone, they are indeed comfortable.

Convenience
This is the clearest plus for these smug plugs. I don’t have bluetooth in my car (alms for the poor 🤲🏻), and so it makes driving and talking safer and easier; it makes it a better experience overall. I was walking back from Chipotle, listening to a podcast about how to start your own podcast when a friend called me, you know, that late-technology-adopting skeptical friend we all have. Let’s call him Brent Lubahn because that is his name and he hates to be called out or have the spotlight shone directly on him. I told him I was talking to him via the white widget, opening myself up to his merciless mocking. He did not disappoint, “Dude, you’re that guy.” He’s right. I am that guy. Then he brought up a great and terrible point, “Why can’t you just wear regular headphones with the wire.” Because these are better, that’s why, Brent Scott Lubahn. It’s funny how we are comfortable with someone walking and talking on headphones. But that was once mocked. Soon that will look silly and AirPods will be normal because they work better, look okay, and Apple sells them.

Status*
Here’s where it gets way more fun and self-aware. Another buddy – let’s call him Lee Portillo because that is his name and he probably won’t read this anyway – he doesn’t give a crap about what tech brand he uses. He once bragged about how he got some Panasonic mp3 player off Craigslist for $11. This was in the middle of the iPod obsessed 2000’s, a time for me when a music player other than an iPod might as well have come with smallpox. My boy Lee does not care about that kind of status. He does however seek rock star status.

 This was once the epitome of cool.

This was once the epitome of cool.

I would not wear HP EarPads, I would satirize Sony Sonars, and laugh out loud at the Lenovo Listeners. But Apple is A-OK with Adam. Apple works in my world view of what gives me the status I seek. I choose Apple, Adidas and others because it gives me a sense of self. I could make strong arguments for comfort and convenience, but I can’t ignore status. All I have to do is look at my desk and see that Apple has chosen me as much as I have chosen Apple. I am not proud of this, I am just aware that it exists.

So, in summary, I wear them for comfort, convenience and status. Oh, they also work well and the sound is good. I admit, I do sometimes feel somewhere between a dork and a dude-bag. Only time will tell if I was an AirPod early adopter or end up looking like a foolish fossil that misfired. If so, they will be retired with rejects like the Google Glass and the Bluetooth ear thingy. In the meantime, do me one favor: if you see me walking down Shepherd on my way to Chipotle for lunch, please do not honk, because it will frighten the crap out of me.

*I learned about status and the role it plays from the super smart Seth Godin. If you want to read a better blog, read his.