While I was out on tour my daughter’s non-smart phone imploded, coincidentally right around the time she was eligible for an upgrade. We got her an iPhone, on the thinking it would actually be useful to her now. It is, although not as a phone; I don’t think I’ve actually seen her talk on it even once. What she does with it? Mostly, as far as I can tell, she uses it as a transistor radio: She fires up the Pandora app, selects her curated pop music station, and plays it as she moves around the house. She doesn’t use headphones, which I am actually fine with (too much time with earphones equals hearing damage over time); she just lets the music play through the iPhone’s speaker. It comes out tinny and mono — the exact experience of a transistor radio, minus a bit of static and commercials, and with the occasional bleep when there’s an incoming text.
I find this use of the iPhone endearing, actually, and a reminder that most teenagers, regardless of era, like their music immediate rather in brilliant 7.1 fidelity. It’s also a reminder that pop music is designed to be consumed fast and freely, on tiny, cheap speakers. It sounds better there. Maybe that’s just me. But tell me I’m wrong.