I am staunchly against emoji reactions in online communication. In Instagram direct messages, reaction responses weaken conversations and compel participants to be lazy communicators. One-click communication, as likes and reactions are sometimes called, is cheap: easy to use, but you get what you pay for.
So when news came out that Twitter is currently testing adding reactions, including downvotes and upvotes, to tweets (not just in DMs, where they currently aggravate), my hackles rose — until I really thought about it for a minute. Part of what makes private DM reactions frustrating is that people use them, essentially, as read…
Sammy Nickalls, a writer based in Pennsylvania, often has to poop immediately before a Zoom call. “I always end up thinking to myself, ‘Oh God, do I have time to take care of this before the call?’ and ‘WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?’”
Nickalls is experiencing what for most of us is a new phenomenon: the dreaded Zoom poop. As the pandemic forced more people to transition from an office setting to their new work-from-home life, crucial bathroom routines were suddenly upended. Folks who used to regularly poop at, say, 7:00 after a morning run but before their commute to…
There was a time when the aesthetics of listening to music on a computer could be bulbous, metallic, even downright alien. Sometimes the software glowed like a sinister stereo from an alternate, more advanced reality. Or it could look gaudy, garish, amateurish in its design. There were always hidden panels, visualizers lurking, more sliders than you’d ever need. If you wanted, you could coax music out of a green man’s bald head.
It seemed to make sense at the time.
This was the era of Winamp and MusicMatch Jukebox, a time in the late ’90s and early 2000s when streaming…
“I do not respond to emails on weekends. If this is an emergency, please call my mobile. If you do not have my mobile number, then you do not have a weekend emergency.”
That was one professor’s bold out-of-office reply, and when it was discovered by the internet, it spurred a lively conversation about boundaries, office hours, and email practices. Stephana Cherak, a graduate student at the University of Calgary whose tweet sparked the discussion, later wrote a piece in the scientific publication Nature about the conversation in response to her viral tweet. …
If you’ve used TikTok lately, you may have noticed a bizarre new meme: name poop songs. The popular app allows users to attach a short clip from nearly any song to their posts. In addition to current hits and classic songs from bands like the Beatles, TikTok’s music library contains something much stranger: personalized name poop songs. Thousands of them. The songs are the work of one man. And they’re earning him tens of thousands of dollars.
“You’re too low. Pull up.”
My dad replies, “Up. Pull up.”
“I’m trying. It’s not pulling up,” I answer. I really am trying.
“Pull the yoke and increase the throttle. You don’t have enough power.”
“I’m trying to turn, but it’s going down.”
“You’re stalling. Pull up!”
And that’s how I crashed my virtual Cessna 152 in Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s probably a costly vehicle to crash in real life, but in the world of the 2020 version of Flight Simulator…
It’s 9:30 in the morning, and I’m talking about a fan. Specifically, I’m creating an in-depth video review of a Honeywell HYF290B tower fan. Pulling up the camera on my phone, I hit record and spend the next four minutes and 22 seconds discussing the fan in intimate detail — what all its buttons do, how loud it is, how much I paid for it, what I like about the way it swivels, and what I dislike about its front grill. For this, I’ll be paid $46.03.
I read 83 books last year. Several of them, including Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, I read for the second time. They’re spectacular and now count among my favorites, but when my husband, who’s currently making his way through Crooked Kingdom, asked what I thought of a major plot detail, I had no idea. I couldn’t remember.
In January 2020, I wrote about how social media is messing with our memories. This is partially because when you spend time recording your daily life in an app, you’re transferring the responsibility of saving memories onto, for lack of…
We’ve picked up all kinds of new skills since the start of the pandemic, whether by necessity or out of an abundance of free time. Some people got really good at sewing face masks. Others taught themselves to make sourdough. Some tried learning a new language; certain fans of The Queen’s Gambit found themselves obsessed with chess. Here’s what nobody has figured out yet: How to wave goodbye on Zoom without looking and feeling incredibly awkward.
What is it about Zoom goodbyes that makes a person want to throw their internet modem into the sea? Maybe it’s the heightened awareness…
These days, whenever someone asks me for TV binging recommendations, my answer is met with confusion, surprise, amusement, and intrigue. I sheepishly admit that I’ve been watching old professional wrestling shows on the WWE Network. I grew up watching pro wrestling with my older brother, who passed away in late 2019, and I’ve been returning to the pastime as a way of reconnecting with him.
The network is easily the world’s largest repository of professional wrestling, with an archive spanning several decades and nearly all of the once-active wrestling territories. It also has a streaming function, so you can just…