Is there anything more valuable to each of us than our identity? Not the piece of plastic with our driver’s license on it but the details of who we are — our personalities, interests, likes and dislikes, familial connections, hometowns, and current homes — all those bits and pieces that coalesce into a clearly defined picture of you.
We cherish our identities while simultaneously giving almost every bit of them away.
It’s not our fault. We’ve spent almost two decades ignoring opt-out buttons, those tiny squares asking if you want to share your name and email, receive newsletters, or allow…
In April 2020, as many businesses were shutting down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Notion was booming.
Although the expansive note-taking app had been around since 2013, the company’s founders and investors apparently understood that the way we work would suddenly see a drastic change as the coronavirus spread across the country. Notion founder and CEO Ivan Zhao raised $50 million, pushing the company’s value to $2 billion.
Digital decluttering is a self-help must-do and one that, for the most part, I’ve failed miserably at. I’m the kind of person whose computer desktop is the digital equivalent of picking up a stack of papers and throwing them everywhere. I regularly waste time scrambling through it when I need to find that one important document among the various screenshots, downloads, and copious files named “untitled.”
Unsurprisingly, my phone was no different.
Thanks to ever-increasing storage availability, my iPhone had expanded into a several-app-page monstrosity, with no organization whatsoever. It was a mixture of apps, folders, and webpages—a full royal…
The last thing I need is another social media network, but the buzz around the still invite-only Clubhouse is so strong, I had to give it a try.
Clubhouse isn’t like other platforms I use. It’s only audio. There are no images, no video, and no river of content. Most of what I can see is the formation of rooms, the topics they’re discussing, and a list of those in the rooms. Inside those spaces are basically virtual stages where someone, or maybe a few people, are leading a discussion or presenting, and others, sometimes hundreds, are listening in.
Panic as a lifestyle choice became a mood in 2020. Suddenly, it began to feel like doomsday preppers were making a good point.
As Covid-19 caught the country flatfooted and as stores ran out of toilet paper and other essentials, basement-stocking and bunker-building began to gain more mainstream attention. The preppers were kind enough to share their knowledge and not add, “Told ya so.”
These days, you can rent out nearly anything you own and earn some side income. Airbnb popularized the business model of letting people rent out their homes, and now similar companies let you rent out your boat, your garage storage, and even your backyard swimming pool.
I’ve used the app Turo to rent other people’s cars, but I’ve always been a bit wary of using it to rent out my own. Turo is the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace, allowing you to rent your car to a stranger and make a bit of money. …
A few months before I went on a much-needed vacation to Mexico City in 2018, I tried Duolingo, the ubiquitous language-learning app, to gently push my Spanish skills into something resembling respectability. But I generally dislike phone games, which meant I didn’t love the app, which gamifies language education through exercises and achievements. I fell off, as many of us fledgling second-language learners do.
Duolingo did not take it well. After ignoring the app’s rude emails (“Learning Spanish requires daily practice. Practice now?” “We haven’t seen you in a while.” “Keep Duo happy!”) …
On Wednesdays, I gather together a ragtag band of thirtysomethings who work in corporate IT, and together we parachute onto a virtual island and proceed to have rings run around us by seven-year-olds who shoot us in the head and do funny dances as we crawl around helplessly. It is simultaneously entertaining and humbling. With Fortnite launching a new season in partnership with Marvel, the seven-year-olds have new ways of killing us: Iron Man’s repulsor, Thor’s Hammer, and Wolverine’s claws, among others. It says something about the modern world, I realize while running around as Thor, that I can’t work…