Retailers like Nordstrom and Amazon have started selling “carrying straps” for AirPods, likely looking to capitalize on the mounting anxiety among some Apple consumers that they will lose one of the precarious earbuds.The straps began attracting attention thanks to a viral meme that began circulating on Monday mocking Nordstrom’s $60 “AirPod Carrying Straps,” originally featured in a Cosmopolitan gift guide in November. Sign up for Business Insider’s retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.While the primary draw of Apple AirPods is ostensibly their lightweight, wireless functionality, retailers are hoping consumers are just anxious enough about losing them that they’ll shell out $60 for an AirPod “carrying strap.”Anxiety over misplaced AirPods has been on the rise since the product was first unveiled in 2016. The ease at which a single bud can go missing has become the source of chronic stress dreams and mounting detritus on subway tracks. (I myself have personally lost one or both of my AirPods several times in the less than six months I’ve owned them — and that doesn’t count the time the charging case was run over by a Lyft.)”I actually felt free,” one AirPod user told The Wall Street Journal after one of his AirPods fell onto the runway while boarding a flight. “I’m back to holding the phone to my ear, which seems primitive. But, hey, it works.”In response, some retailers are looking to capitalize on the fear of losing a singular AirPod, which as a set retails for either $159 for the regular model or $250 for the recently released AirPod Pro. On Monday afternoon, a viral post mocking a carrying strap on the Nordstrom website began making the rounds on popular Instagram meme accounts like @FuckJerry.”Ladies and gentleman, we have officially come full circle,” @FuckJerry wrote on a post that currently has more than 200,000 likes.
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 A post shared by FUCKJERRY (@fuckjerry) on Dec 2, 2019 at 10:53am PSTDec 2, 2019 at 10:53am PSTOthers took to Twitter to scoff at the strap. A Business Insider colleague wrote on Slack that the strap looks like “Croakies, but for AirPods.” —Hipster (@Hipster_Trader) December 2, 2019—Ellie Frost (@_BlockBytch) December 2, 2019The image in the meme originates from a Cosmopolitan holiday gift guide for men published in November, which recommends the strap to ensure “he’ll never lose a single AirPod again.” Nordstrom was not immediately available to respond to Business Insider’s request to comment. In addition to Nordstrom, Amazon also sells a variety of “AirPod accessories” designed to prevent the loss of a single AirPod, as do several other specialty retailers like Dhouea and Ace Select, which were featured in an April post on iGeekBlog.