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@_leilanaa/TikTok Mikael Thalen

TikTok teens use AirPods and Google Translate to secretly talk in class

The days of passing paper notes are long gone.


Mikael Thalen

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 25, 2020   Updated on May 19, 2021, 5:01 pm CDT

Teens are harnessing the power of modern technology in order to secretly communicate when in school. And while previous generations may have had to rely on passing paper notes, Generation Z is utilizing cellphones and wireless earbuds to chat undetected.

One such teen on TikTok showcased this new method in a video that has since gone viral. A copy of the clip shared to Twitter that breaks down the process has already been viewed more than 2.7 million times.

The trick is relatively simple. First, teens exchange one of their Apple AirPod earbuds with another student. Then, using Google Translate, a message can be typed and transmitted verbally into the ear of the other user.

Reactions to the video included everything you’d expect. Millennials are praising the new generation’s ingenuity, while Baby Boomers and others harkened back to a simpler time of paper airplanes.

“Too bad they will never know the joys of passing paper airplane notes behind a teachers back… but then again, I doubt any kid these days knows how to make a paper airplane,” Twitter user @MetalGearSamMcC said.

Some even went off on a tangent about the failure of the teens to use proper grammar.

“But they still don’t know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re,'” Twitter user @CrazyJimP said.

The secret chat trick does appear to be spreading though. One user stated that he had seen the method used by students in his Sunday School class.

Several other users applauded the problem-solving skills displayed by today’s teenage girls.

Multiple people went on to share the methods they used when in school in order to communicate under-the-radar. TI-83 calculators anyone?

It appears some schools have even gone as far to essentially ban both phones and wireless earbuds in order to crack down on student’s communication covertly.

“At my school, phones go in the locker in the morning, and you don’t get them out till time to go home,” Twitter user @HesstThe said. “We have also banned air pods in the hall and classroom unless teacher directed to use them.”

Of course, many asked why the method was even necessary at all when students could just text instead. Many of the criticisms were met with an “OK Boomer.”

The video highlights just one of the many methods students use in order to beat the boredom of the classroom. Even Google Docs has become a tool in the arsenal of young kids looking to talk in school.

Given the rapid development of technology, we can only expect digital note-passing to become even more impressive in the coming years.


H/T BingePost

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2020, 4:32 pm CST