I was going to post some boring stuff about a cyber security tool that will probably destroy the world (according to the NYTimes), but chose the article about teens and tumblr instead.
It’s pretty “stupid adult peeks into fetid writhing mass of teen culture, is surprised to find some things of worth”, but I love deep looks into online culture. The article is both the pinnacle of cringe-y adult misunderstanding:
Lilley is tall and lanky, with dark brown curly hair. Greenfield is shorter, with glasses and honey-brown hair. They both wore plain polo shirts. Summer had just ended, and there was a pool in the backyard, but they were quite pale. After studying their mannerisms and hearing Lilley’s repeated allusions to Greenfield’s math skills and superior memory—he was briefly a mechatronics engineering major—I determined they were nerds. They were witty and warm and very smart, and I liked them immediately, but they were total nerds. It surprised me, because nerds are often defined by an inability to read social interactions and respond in a way that makes them cool, confident—relatable. So I gently asked Greenfield how he was able to make these minute social observations that hinge on complex emotions being expressed in subtle facial expressions when, perhaps, this was not his strong suit in real life. His answer: internet research.
As well as a demonstrate of how kids are growing up with an innate understanding of digital marketing:
The outrage clicks were so powerful, Lilley and Greenfield decided to experiment with “negative attention.” Haters are more loyal than fans, so they promoted the bad hacks. The worst hacks brought in thousands of followers, and that’s how Lifehackable built the bulk of its audience. “Tom knew what was happening, and so then he was more incentivized to actually not do his job right,” Lilley said. “And in sucking, he succeeded.”
Lilley was disgusted by the thought of “trying to build a personal brand by sacrificing your content.”
It’s great and you should read it.