AirPods are taking over the world and creating a caste system that no one expected. When Apple wireless headphones debuted in 2016, nobody paid much attention to them until now.

AirPods became increasingly popular during the Christmas season because they appeared on the Christmas lists of people young and old alike. Everyone wanted these little white blobs that would supposedly give you the best sound quality to ever exist.

What Apple failed to mention in their marketing campaign is that by acquiring these headphones, you are automatically thrusted into the upper class lifestyle which means you should have caviar with your eggs in the morning.

Their low price point of $159 doesn’t compare to the prices of their competitors like Beats by Dre, and Bose whose headphones can cost upwards of $300 per pair. Even though both of these brands were making quality wireless headphones before Apple hit the market, and people were spending hundreds of dollars on headphones, this wireless hierarchy didn’t exist until AirPods became the shiny new toy everyone wanted to have.

AirPod hierarchy mimics that of which Apple has set out from the start. There is a large amount of people who truly believe that in order to have the best electronics available, they must have all Apple products. The people who have their iPhones, MacBooks, iPads and Apple Watches can now add to their collection by purchasing these headphones that they’ll probably lose within a week. There are plenty of other electronic companies that have quality products, but some people are in a cult-like relationship with Apple and they wouldn’t dare to try anything else.

In the past, there has been subtle digs thrown at laptop users who weren’t working on an Apple product because it was believed that Apple had created the laptop to outlast and withstand all other laptops. MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs are best known for their ability to withstand most viruses that would take out normal PCs. There was no competition in the laptop market and even though you would have to pay at least one thousand dollars to get your hands on an MacBook. But even then the Apple hierarchy has not been stronger than with the reintroduction of AirPods thanks to Christmas 2018.

AirPods are old. They debuted over two years ago and no one wanted to have a pair until fall of 2018 when they became the must have item of the year. There were plenty of other headphone companies that produced better quality products over the time it has taken the general public to notice and appreciate AirPods. The attitude of AirPod users is to curse anyone who can’t afford AirPods. But why would anyone downgrade from their Beats or their Bose noise cancelling headphones to try and shove two oversized white pods shaped like the letter “P” into their ear canal? Just because they want to fit in with everyone else.

AirPods are popular because people want to fit in. People want to fit in because AirPods are being plastered all over social media while people are subtly trying to express their social standing. What started as a simple meme on social media has begun to take over the world. People are wearing AirPods without listening to music just to prove they can afford to spend their money on AirPods. This is a real life version of the “weird flex but okay” meme that has taken social media by storm.

AirPods and their owners have turned into savage vultures on social media, and constantly call out those who are still poor and using wired headphones. Some of the best tweets to illustrate the cultural shift AirPods have caused are listed below:

Tweet #1

“nobody:

a person with AirPods: (Photo with the caption “It smells like broke in here”).” – @VonDeNiro

 Tweet #2

“me:

people with AirPods: (Quoted tweet reading “STOP BEING BROKE. JUST STOP”).” – @JAYYCLUV 

Tweet #3

“My little cousin got AirPods for Christmas and is going round saying “I can’t even hear you cause you’re broke” LOOOOOL” – @alezander

 Tweet #4

“In the first page of the AirPod instructions it says you’re aloud to spit on anyone who doesn’t have AirPods” – @emmymhartman

Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism and can be reached at jaceygonzalez@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.