Where would we be in life without our earbuds?
They help us accomplish so many important tasks, such as ignoring people and powering us through that dreadful treadmill workout.
However, there's one thing earbuds aren't good for: sharing.
We've all been there when a friend passes us their earbuds to check out this "dope new track," and we immediately spot all that gross wax just chillin' there like, "Yeah, I haven't been cleaned in like, ever."
While the ear wax is of course completely unappealing and a no-fly zone for us, wax itself is not what you need to be worried about.
Buzzfeed spoke with an expert, Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., who explained that wax is just the ear's way of cleaning itself and is harmless.
She said our "ear usually consists of pseudomonas, staphylococcus, and strep," and added "even though those sound really bad, many people carry these types of bacteria without any issues."
So take a deep breath.
However, since earbuds are often stuck in pockets, bags, and left on tables, the wax left on them can help pick up unwanted bacteria. We're lookin' at you sweaty gym pockets.
That is where the problem arises. The wax from your ears begins to pick up bacteria that doesn't naturally occur in your canal.
On top of that, just using earbuds creates even more bacteria.
While you create a lot of grossness on your own, sharing them with another person will spread their own germs to your earbuds and vice-versa.
However, try not freak out all that much.
According the Wall Street Journal and Lisa Sturm, director of Infection Control and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan Health System, "Most kids are pretty immune to normal bacteria out there, otherwise they'd be getting sick all the time."
You're not going to die, and it isn't like you're going to get automatically sick just because you shared your earbuds. You are just increasing the likeliness of spreading of an infection.
Better to be on the safe side, right?