"Cyborgs, if you’re reading this, know that I have the utmost respect for you and want to be your friend."
You're something of a GIF connoisseur. What’s your go-to resource for finding them?
I don’t have a single resource! These days I find them on Tumblr, on Twitter, on Instagram, in emails and texts from friends, on Giphy. A whole range of places.
What was your first screen name?
Oh god, I hate this question. It was NyQuil29. It sounds like I was a faded teenager drinking from the medicine cabinet, but really I couldn’t think of what to call myself and I had a cold during the week my family got AOL.
What would your dream app be?
I want an app that would be able to tell if I’ve been on Twitter or Instagram for more than 20 minutes, and would present me with a message like, “Hi, are you wasting time?” or “Is this how you really want to spend your day?” or “What are you getting out of this?”
What's next for you? What projects are you currently bringing to a boil?
No projects to announce, but here’s what’s percolating at the moment: I am thinking a lot about the subscribers to my newsletter, and how I manage that community. I’m thinking about whether and how I want to continue to be reactive to the news, or whether I want to work on projects that feel a little bigger than the day-to-day. I’m thinking about new ways to play around with audio as a medium. I’m thinking about mentorship, and how I can share what I know with people who are just now coming up in journalism (given that I work for and mostly by myself). I’m thinking about taking a solo writing retreat.
In your expert opinion, what will the Internet look like 5 years from now?
I am going to credit my friend and podcast co-host Aminatou Sow with this one: We won’t read anymore. It’ll all be sentence-long snippets, videos, audio, GIFs, and images. It might take a little longer than 5 years, but this is probably where we’re headed. [Must credit Amina because, as a writer, I would never have been able to come to this realization on my own. Too biased.]
Last but not least, what do you fear about the future of technology?
Cyborg uprising, definitely. Cyborgs, if you’re reading this, know that I have the utmost respect for you and want to be your friend. Or Corporate Dystopia—you know, an "Aliens"-like scenario where a single company owns everything and we only have the illusion of democracy or freedom? The company is what owns the cyborgs, probably—and lots of Internet-connected objects we need every day, and all TV, and all of our data. That’s my top fear. I think it’s probably an inevitability of capitalism.
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