Having earphones in is generally perceived as a “do not disturb” signal, and some AirPod users use this fact to strategically avoid awkward small talk. But in the collaborative workplace, constant use of AirPods has sometimes been interpreted as a sign of disrespect to fellow co-workers, causing conflict in the office. A college professor has also lamented that AirPods have decreased students’ daily social interactions.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPods#Cultural_Phenomenon
I have actually used headphones a lot as a “do not disturb” resp. “I am trying to stay focussed” signal.