My TikTok Guy And Other Adventures [#114]
Taking a break from ChatGPT experimentation to try an old technology, TikTok.
Advice I’ve gotten about promoting Flawless, my book that gets into how digital life creates blueprints for body modification in physical life, is that I should probably be talking about it on … digital media. GAHHHH!
The thing is, during the quiet of pandemic lockdowns, I enjoyed not using social media that much. Millennials grew up with this stuff — my college graduating year is also Mark Zuckerberg’s — but we’re old, now! I blogged and tweeted and tumblred and ‘grammed through my entire adult life. I don’t want to be a slave to content creation! Even for all the creators who monetize, it seems exhausting.
But I am the main pitch person for the book, so I’m back on the socials every day, and even TikTok, which I love watching but never really CREATED content for. Enter Matthew, my TikTok guy. He’s on TikTok as @dearmatt. He basically lives on that platform and sends me messages about trends to do a riff on, or reminders to post something, because the platform rewards velocity. It’s really fun having him in my texts with links at random times. He’s like a bot, but a live human, nudging me with “Hey, have you thought about doing this?”
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
Photographing a year of war in Ukraine. Late to it but I really enjoyed this metaanalysis of Ben Affleck’s tortured tabloid photos. Stories like this about the way creators exploit arbitrary trends on Instagram for cash are reminders of our Web 2.0 hellscape. Costco had disappointing earnings this week, but by golly, THEY BETTER NOT RAISE THE PRICE OF THAT COSTCO HOT DOG MEAL.
Book rec: If you haven’t read the bestselling 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, get on it. This is subtitled like it’s a time management book, but it’s actually packaging Jungian psychology, Buddhist philosophy and a clear guide to living and understanding our fraught times into one highly-engaging read. One of its chapters opens with "Jungian psychologist James Hollis" and I thought, YOU HAD ME AT JAMES HOLLIS. He's my favorite old white guy that's currently alive.
Watch and/or Listen
Offline with Jon Favreau’s illuminating conversation with Robert Waldinger, head of the longest-running study on happiness. Putting aside that “happiness” has various meanings and I prefer we aspire to wholeness or contentment instead, listen til the end, about what the research says about raising fulfilled young people.
Normal Gossip, on their move to a new network/distributor. This episode is what makes Normal Gossip so good — the host and producer get into the behind-the-scenes of their podcast deal, and the values they thought through in the decision making, and what it means for us listeners.
Werk Werk Werk
I spoke with WHYY’s The Pulse for its skincare deep dive, about the way Korean beauty has rocketed to global popularity. Korean exports of skincare and cosmetics now eclipse Korean exports of smartphones, y’all. Our podcast company has expanded to add a production manager and producer this week, so Reasonable Volume is busy!
Some of you may know that this year I completed my longstanding bucket list item of BEING IN THE AUDIENCE of THE MASKED SINGER. The episode that Rob and I attended airs on Wednesday night on Fox. I can’t wait to see if we made a cutaway reaction shot.
Okay, that’s it from the LA HQ. Hope this finds you sailing into a real break this weekend. As always, I want to hear from you with comments, quips, recommendations and other ephemera.
Until next time,