I see a lot of people (mostly teenagers and ones in their 20s ) walking/jogging around with earphones plugged into their smart phone.
I am assuming that they are listing to music stored on their smart phone similar to Walkmans in the 80s, portable CD/MP3 players later, then Ipods, are more recently smart phones.
Can’t think of anything else ?
Unless they have a microphone attached so they can have a 2 way conversation while being outside.
While I’m not in the demographic asked about, and I use Bluetooth rather than wired headphones, I’m listening to books. I spend about forty hours a month walking for exercise and recently started using Audible as an alternative to my local library’s small selection of downloadable books.
It was a vast improvement over the unsuccessful books on eight-track format. You could get Stephen King’s The Stand in a 36 eight-track version. The backpack full of tapes you had to carry along hindered wide acceptance.
I’m wondering why this is a puzzle. They’re listening to the same stuff that people have been using transistor radios, Sony Walkmans, portable CD players, iPods, etc., for ever since portable media players first became popular in the 1950s. So, yeah, music, news, sports, talk programming (i.e., podcasts), audiobooks, whatever is available in audio form.
And, yes, some people are also having phone conversations. I pretty much always put in an earphone to talk on a mobile phone.
I listen to podcasts usually, but I also listen to nothing. If I’m at the grocery store, or walking a local trail, and not feeling sociable, I put in my earbuds even if I have nothing I want to listen to.
I think that modern smartphones have mostly killed off the stand-alone MP3 player market. Why bother with two devices when one will do? (And MicroSD cards come in up to 512 GB sizes now–that’s a whole lot of music, even if you chose to store it as WAV files. Compress them and you are talking a hundred thousand songs.)
A friend of mine has an app on her phone that motivates her when she’s Jogging. I’m not sure what it’s called but the way she describes it is there’s a story you listen to about an zombie invasion. Every now and then it says you’re being attacked by zombies and you have to jog faster (the app tracks how fast and far you’re jogging) to escape them or you take damage. It also tells you to jog a certain distance to collect supplies to heal up and defend your home against the zombies. Sounds like fun if you’re a jogger.