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Sam Bendinelli, a public-high-school teacher in New Jersey, told me that students sometimes send copies of tests, homework, or answers to quizzes via Air Drop during class or free periods.
He and other teachers have begun to crack down on students having their phones out in order to thwart this sort of sharing.
Teenagers will usually change the names of their i Phone to something anonymous or funny to compound the joke.
“I used to have the name ‘Momo Challenge’ for my phone,” says Ryan, a 17-year-old in California who, like all teenagers interviewed for this story, is referred to by a pseudonym.
Bendinelli also said that students go out of their way not to include teachers.
It works like this: Once there’s a critical mass of people around, usually enough so that it’s not immediately clear who an Air Drop came from, teens start dropping photos, memes, selfies, and more to every open phone around.
Phones with Air Drop enabled can exchange files from up to 30 feet away, whether or not they’re in each other’s contact lists.
Many adults use Air Drop to share files one-on-one, but teens have embraced mass image sharing via Air Drop for years.
Veronica Belmont, a product manager at Adobe Spark, was riding the train down to Silicon Valley, doing some work on her phone, when dozens of teenagers plopped down into the seats around her. She received an Air Drop request containing an image of several boys’ Bitmoji characters dressed in chicken suits.
A group of them snickered as she opened it and looked around. “I was like, Anyone who has accidentally left their Air Drop settings open around a group of teens is likely familiar with the deluge of memes, selfies, and notes that arrives so quickly it can often freeze your phone.