C. Scott Brown
Although iOS and Android devices are more similar today than ever before, there are some specific features that iPhone users do not have for Android users (or vice versa). The most widely used of these features is iMessage, the exclusive news app from Apple that features Android users with a green bubble.
Green bubble, you say? If you do not know what I'm referring to, this is here: If iPhone owners use iMessage to communicate with other iPhone owners, their message bubbles are blue. When an Android user joins chat, his message bubbles turn green. IPhone users can easily see that certain iMessage features do not work with that person because they use an Android device.
Although this seems quite harmless and even necessary, the Green Bubble function has taken a life of its own – and not in a good way. Some iPhone users around the world – but especially in the US – mock the green bubbles that appear in their iMessage feed, even leading to colloquialisms such as "Green texts do not bring back lyrics".
At first glance, this attitude may seem childish but harmless, but is actually a real problem with real consequences. In particular, young Android users feel increasingly excluded from their group of iPhone-using friends due to this green bubble phenomenon.
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Yes, the green bubble's dismissal is a real thing
If you're not an iPhone user, this may be the first one of them have heard something. If you are an iPhone user who does not live in the United States, you may never have heard of it because platform – independent messaging apps are much more popular in the rest of the world (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.).
Let me assure you that it is no joke when certain iPhone users completely deny the sight of a green bubble.
See also: How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Android.
Take this recent article from Cosmopolitan with the headline "Bad News: Mike Johnson of Bachelor Nation is an Android guy." In it, the author talks about how Johnson appears as a perfect man, but Since then it has been announced that he uses an Android phone, he might not be worth thinking about it.
In a tweet attached to the article a person even says: "Is Mike still able to be a bachelor when he does? an android?
Here's a particularly condescending excerpt from AR ticle's author:
Yeah, it's a bit hard to measure Mike on his questionable smartphone range, but come on. Opting to buy an Android is such a strange flex. People will tell you that they did it because it has a "really great camera" or is waterproof or something, but TBH, an Android device, could literally fold my laundry and I would still not force my friends to look at green text bubbles.
] You might think, "OK, well, that's a cheeky, half-joking article in Cosmopolitan so who cares?" Well, Samsung seems to care. The world's most successful smartphone maker has indeed created a page with animated GIFs that Android users can send to iPhone owners who criticize their green bubble news] went so far as to say that when green bubble arguments pop up, "the only solution is to get an iPhone. "
These are two very recent examples, but I could find much more on Twitter Instagram and even YouTube. Rest assured that this green bubble problem is not just sensitive Android users complaining about cocky iPhone users, like a relic of the past of the time. Android ". This is a legitimate contradiction.
Why is this happening?
I'll readily admit that iMessage users need some kind of hint that a person is in their chat no iPhone used. The green bubble function may not be the most aesthetic solution, but it is simple and effective. If that does not exist, iPhone users may get frustrated if they repeatedly try to use an iMessage feature and find that it is not working properly.
There are people who believe Apple purposely made the green blister color as ugly as it is. This is a subtle confrontation with Android, and this strategy can literally make iPhone users literally unrelated to Android users.
In this article from The New York Post a professor named Grayson Earle assumes this theory. The article itself is about various people who refuse to send a message with "green bubbles", including a woman named Katie McDonough, who will not hit a man with an Android phone.
"If it's not a blue message, it's me. I'm not going to worry about flirting with you anymore," she said to The Post . "I'm just like that," why do not you have an iPhone? "
For some people, the idea of not owning an iPhone seems like having a deodorant stick.
McDonough even When her ex-boyfriend switched from an iPhone to an Android device, she admitted that this was the moment when her relationship "went downhill."
To explain this utter lack of compromise on the McDonough exhibits, she says she relies on iMessage features. For example, if the person who sends them an SMS reads their message, they will be notified. And if the person is about to write an answer, they will also be notified. However, these two features do not work with Android users, so they would not know if their message was read or if the sender created a new text.
Along with these read / write notifications, iMessage users have the ability to respond to messages with emojis. Android users will not see these emojis and can not add them. Instead, they receive a text that reads "[Username] liked this message," which is hardly as entertaining or effective.
Young people love this feature, especially in chats with large groups. Because Android users can not enjoy the fun, they automatically feel excluded from these group chats.
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Some friend groups even create a new group chat for iPhone users only, preserving all iMessage features, excluding Android users.
In this current Twitter thread Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who switched from Android to iPhone specifically for this exclusion phenomenon. "We would start a new group chat and the group would realize that I was the reason it was green and they would start another group chat without me," Bajarin quotes the boy. He also mentioned that the boy admitted to having missed his previous cell phone: a Google Pixel 2.
Let's face it: it's about income and status
The above-mentioned boy, who switched from a Pixel 2 to an iPhone to suit his friends, seems to be a modern example of a normal teenage problem: a desire not to be an outsider and instead a popular member of the Be mass.
If we choose to see it that way-and only then-it might be easy to shake it off as an age-old problem that happens to manifest itself in a new, technological path.
That reduces the problem. Let's look at the problem from a more classic point of view and imagine those groups talking about something else instead of an iPhone – say a pair of fashionable shoes.
The iPhone is more than just a phone. It is a status symbol, similar to a designer handbag or a luxury car.
These shoes are very trendy: you can see celebrities wearing them and people lining the block to get a pair. But since they are so fashionable and popular, they are also expensive.
For children born to families with financial stability, getting a pair of these shoes is relatively easy. They just ask their parents over and over again, and eventually they will get them. It could take until her next birthday or Christmas, but these shoes are yet to come.
For children born to families without financial stability, these shoes will probably never come. In this sense, it becomes very easy to visibly detect the rich and the poor children as they walk through the halls of a particular high school in the United States. Just look at the shoes.
The iPhone is no different from these fictitious shoes, although we do not like to admit it to Android users. Although there are many Android smartphones that cost as much (if not more) as a brand new iPhone, the perception in the US is that Android phones are cheaper and "less than" compared to the iPhone. Many young people will see another young person using a smartphone that is not an iPhone, and immediately assume that they are not cool and probably poor.
The people who have nothing but contempt for green bubbles in their iMessage chats might try to argue The only reason they hate these green text boxes is that they mess up the iMessage features, like woman McDonough of the New York Post said. But let's be honest: the iPhone is a status symbol and affordable only for people with a certain income. So there are some iPhone users who see a green bubble and think, "This person is not part of the in-crowd and probably not wealthy. "
A green bubble = Android in iMessage, but in the eyes of some iPhone users a green bubble = poor person.
In a sense, The Verge is correct in saying that the best way to not experience this kind of rejection is to just get an iPhone. Buy a used one or opt for an older model that may be cheaper. Damn, get an iPod Touch if you need it. But that's not a solution to the real problem, it's just a reluctance to peer pressure, and that's something that's taught us all from an early age.
Honestly, I do not know what to say to the poor kid who felt he had to get rid of Google Pixel 2 to reassure his friends who threw him out of the chats. On the one hand, I'd like to tell him to cling to his guns and keep the phone he wants and tell his friends to handle it. On the other hand, I know that this kind of pressure can be daunting for a teenager – after all, I was one myself.
I guess the best advice I have for him and for anyone else in this plight is pretty simple: remind your friends that the green bubble they are criticizing is not just a bubble – you it is. If your friends still exclude you after you tell them, choosing your smart phone is not the problem.