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Todays top deals: MacBook Pro M1 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum, and more

2023-03-19 06:18:27

Todays top deals: MacBook Pro M1 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum, and more

We've gathered all of the best deals to shop on Nov. 16 — here are our top picks:

Todays top deals: MacBook Pro M1 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum, and more(图1)

  • BEST LAPTOP DEAL: 2021 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,999.99 $2,499 (save $499.01)

  • BEST HOME DEAL: Dyson V7 Advanced Origin Cordless Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$279.99 $399.99 (save $120)

  • BEST AUDIO DEAL: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live(Opens in a new tab) $69 $169.99 (save $100.99)

From a 50-inch smart TV for $188 to a new all-time-low price on the Roomba J7+, we've already seen plenty of epic early Black Friday deals this season. If you missed out, there's no need to fret — the deals won't stop coming. In fact, the closer we get to the big day (Nov. 25), the crazier the deals get.

On today's docket: a new all-time-low price on the M1 Pro MacBook Pro, hella cheap Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, and plenty more. Here are the best deals of the day on Nov. 16, organized for your shopping convenience.

Best laptop deal

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Credit: Apple
2021 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$1,999.99 at Amazon (save $499.01)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

Three words: lowest price ever. The 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro (with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD) has officially hit a new all-time-low cost of just $1,999.99 at Amazon. The M1 Pro is a real beast of a machine — so much so that Mashable's Joseph Volpe called it "a bit of overkill." For non-creative types, it's also crazy expensive (this configuration is regularly $2,500). With this nearly $500 discount, however, it's a much more justifiable purchase.

More laptop and tablet deals

  • HP 11.6-inch Chromebook (AMD A4, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $98 (save $19)

  • Lenovo Tab M8 (3rd Gen) 8-inch Tablet (MediaTek Helio P22T, 3GB RAM, 32GB eMCP)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $119 (save $40)

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 10.5-inch Tablet (WiFi, 32GB)(Opens in a new tab) — $139 $199 (save $60)

  • LG 27-inch UltraGear FHD 165Hz Gaming Monitor(Opens in a new tab)$179 $229 (save $50)

  • HP 14-inch Touch Chromebook (Intel Celeron N4120, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$179 $299 (save $120)

  • LG 32-inch UltraGear QHD (2560x1440)165Hz HDR 10 Monitor with FreeSync(Opens in a new tab)$200 $399 (save $199)

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 2-in-1 (Intel Evo Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$899.99 $1,349.99 (save $450)

  • 2021 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$2,199.99 $2,699 (save $499.01)

Best home deal

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Credit: Dyson
Dyson V7 Advanced Origin Cordless Vacuum (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$279.99 at Best Buy (save $120)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

Dyson's like the Apple of vacuums — it's a household name for a reason, but rarely sees steep discounts. But for the next 14 hours or so, you can snag Best Buy's Deal of the Day: $120 off the Dyson V7 Advanced Origin Cordless Vacuum. It may not be the newest model in the brand's line of cordless vacuums, but it still hold its own with its 110,000rpm digital motor, Motorbar™ cleaner head, and 40-minute run time. You'll also get a combination tool and mini dusting brush for convenience and versatile cleaning.

More home deals

Kitchen deals

  • Cuisinart 12 -Piece Multi-Color Knife Set(Opens in a new tab)$14.99 $49.99 (save $35)

  • Bella Pro Series Digital Air Fryer with Divided Basket (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $109.99 (save $60)

  • Instant Pot Duo (6-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$50 $99.99 (save $49.99)

  • Ninja Foodi 4-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$99 $199.99 (save $100.99)

  • Ninja Supra Kitchen System 72-ounce Blender and Food Processor(Opens in a new tab) — $99 $149 (save $50)

  • Blackstone Adventure Ready 22-inch Propane Griddle Gift Bundle(Opens in a new tab)$127 $279 (save $152)

  • Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Toaster Oven(Opens in a new tab)$279.95 $349.95 (save $70)

  • Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro(Opens in a new tab)$319.95 $499.95 (save $180)

Floor care deals

  • Hoover MAXLife PowerDrive Swivel XL Bagless Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$59 $119 (save 60)

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$98 $199 (save $101)

  • eufy Clean by Anker RoboVac G32 Pro Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) $119 $299 (save $180)

  • Shark Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$144 $259 (save $115)

  • iRobot Roomba 676 Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$177 $269 (save $92)

  • Shark EZ Robot Vacuum with Self-Empty Base(Opens in a new tab)$258 $449 (save $191)

  • Dyson V7 Advanced Origin Cordless Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$279.99 $399.99 (save $120)

  • iRobot Roomba i1+ (1552) Wi-Fi Connected Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$288 $529.99 (save $241.99)

  • eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum and Mop(Opens in a new tab)$319.99 $649.99 (save $330 with clipped coupon)

Best audio deals

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Credit: Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$69 at Walmart (save $100.99)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

It's hard to believe these earbuds haven't sold out — and that Amazon hasn't price-matched the discount. At just $69, the Galaxy Buds Live — aka the Galaxy 'Beans' — are still sitting at their lowest price ever at Walmart. Mashable tech reporter Alex Perry praised their "gorgeous sound and sweet price," despite the so-so noise-cancellation quality.

More audio deals

  • Echo Auto (1st Gen)(Opens in a new tab) — $14.99 $49.99 (save $35)

  • Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$18 $49 (save $31)

  • JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker(Opens in a new tab)$59 $99 (save $40)

  • Echo Buds (2nd Gen) With Wired Charging Case(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $119.99 (save $50)

  • Echo Buds (2nd Gen) With Wireless Charging Case(Opens in a new tab) — $89.99 $139.99 (save $50)

  • Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$89.99 $159 (save $69.01)

  • VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar(Opens in a new tab)$148 $199.99 (save $51.99)

  • Klipsch Reference Series 5-1/4-inch Passive 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers(Opens in a new tab)$199.98 $399.98 (save $200)

  • Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$229.99 $249 (save $19.01)

Streaming devices and subscription deals

  • Four months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free with select purchases at Best Buy (save $39.96)

  • One month of Paramount+(Opens in a new tab)free with code BRAVO $4.99 (save $4.99)

  • One year of Grubhub+(Opens in a new tab)free for Prime members $119.88 (save $119.88)

  • First month of Xbox Game Pass(Opens in a new tab)$1 $14.99 (save $13.99)

  • Four months of Audible Premium Plus(Opens in a new tab)$5.95/month $14.95/month (save $36)

  • Paramount+ Essential(Opens in a new tab)free with Walmart+ membership ($12.95/month or $98/year)

  • Fire TV Stick Lite(Opens in a new tab)$14.99 $29.99 (save $15)

  • Chromecast with Google TV (HD) Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$18 $29.99 (save $11.99)

  • Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$19.99 $39.99 (save $20)

  • Roku Streaming Stick 4K Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$24.98 $49 (save $24.02)

  • Fire TV Stick 4K(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $49.99 (save $25)

  • One year of Paramount+ with Free Fire TV Stick Lite(Opens in a new tab)starting at $24.99 (save 50%)

  • Roku Ultra LT Streaming Device 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision(Opens in a new tab)$30 $80 (save $50)

  • Fire TV Stick 4K Max(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $54.99 (save $20)

  • Apple TV HD 32GB (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$59 $149.99 (save $90.99)

  • Fire TV Cube(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $119.99 (save $60)

TV and projector deals

  • Amazon Fire TV 43-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$229.99 $369.99 (save $140)

  • Amazon Fire TV 50-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$249.99 $469.99 (save $220)

  • Amazon Fire TV 55-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab) — $299.99 $519.99 (save $220)

  • Hisense 65-inch R6 Series 4K UHD LCD Roku Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$398 $498 (save $100)

  • Samsung 75-inch Class TU690T Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV(Opens in a new tab)$579.99 $849.99 (save $270)

  • Sony 55-inch BRAVIA XR A80J Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV(Opens in a new tab)$999.99 $1,899.99 (save $900)

  • LG B2 Series 65-Inch Class OLED Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$1,296.99 $1,559 (save $262.01)

More tech deals

  • Ring Video Doorbell(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

  • Ring Video Doorbell with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $184.98 (save $114.99)

  • Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch(Opens in a new tab) — $99 $149.95 (save $50.95)

  • Introducing Ring Spotlight Cam Plus(Opens in a new tab)$139.99 $199.99 (save $60)

  • Fitbit Versa 4 Smartwatch(Opens in a new tab)$149.95 $229.95 (save $80)

  • Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS, 41mm)(Opens in a new tab)$349 $399 (save $50)

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  • Remember voice tweets? Lmao.

    Remember voice tweets? Lmao.

    Back in the day, and by "the day" I mean June 2020, Twitter launched a new feature that allows people to record and tweet audio clips of their own voices.


    For a day or two, my timeline was flooded with annoying and painfully unfunny audio bits. But then, almost as quickly as they were introduced, the voice tweets stopped.

    It hasn't even been a full two months since Twitter started rolling out voice tweets(Opens in a new tab), yet everyone's already forgotten about them. Think about it. When was the last time you made a voice tweet of your own? Heck, when was the last time you even saw an audio tweet on your timeline?

    The initial voice tweet hype was strong, but it proved to be fleeting. I have yet to post a voice tweet, however, as far as I saw, none of the people I follow utilized the feature after launch week. Anthony Scaramucci's 10-day stint in the White House was longer than our collective interest in voice tweets, which is a sure sign that the feature failed.

    SEE ALSO: Twitter starts rolling out audio tweets

    In June, which was apparently two months (and not 10 years) ago, you likely saw a bunch of jokes like these. Some tweets were genuinely funny. But others were barely worthy of a laptop unmute.

    The concept was fun for a few hours, then it got mildly irritating, and eventually it was straight-up forgotten. I haven't laid eyes or ears on a new voice tweet in July or August. And I'm not the only one who's noticed their absence.

    It's worth pointing out that none of these people tweeting "remember voice tweets?" are actually utilizing the abandoned feature. They're simply pointing out that it exists, and that it's clearly been forgotten. Why? Because voice tweets are so pointless that they're not even worth trying to bring back. Did anyone even want them in the first place?

    Why did voice tweets flop so hard?

    Some of Twitter's features, such as the option to mute select words or the ability to limit who can reply to your tweets, are actually helpful. They assist users in creating a more fulfilling, personalized experience, and therefore, they maintain interest. Voice tweets, however, are just there for our amusement.

    Aside from variety, they don't really add much to the site. And their lack of captioning actually adds to a larger accessibility problem.

    Since people need to listen to and hear voice tweets to learn what exactly is being "tweeted," users who are deaf or hard of hearing (along with anyone not using sound on a device) are unable to partake in the new feature. Though you could tweet a transcription of your voice tweet, many of the audio jokes made using the feature rely on the element of surprise that comes from listening to the audio clip.

    The isolating aspects of the feature were addressed by Twitter Product Designer Maya Patterson, but the platform was still criticized for launching the feature before factoring in accessibility.

    It's also worth pointing out the impeccably poor timing of this ~fun~ feature launch.

    We're in the middle of a global pandemic, racism and police brutality are being heavily protested around the world, and we're months away from the U.S. presidential election. Do any of us really have time to care about voice tweets for more than a few days? Hell no.

    For some people, voice tweets were a nice, shiny distraction from 2020's soul-crushing doom vibes. But like most memes these days, their viral presence was short-lived. I, for one, am glad we've forgotten about voice tweets. And I hope they never make a comeback.

  • QAnon hits the mainstream and Trump is on board

    QAnon hits the mainstream and Trump is on board

    UPDATE: Nov. 3, 2020, 7:22 p.m. EST: It's finally election day in the U.S. and Marjorie Taylor Greene has solidified her spot as the first person in Congress to openly back the unfounded far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. In September, Greene's opponent, Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, dropped out of the race(Opens in a new tab), which basically guaranteed Greene a seat as a U.S. Representative for Georgia's 14th district.


    If, by some strange good fortune, you remain unfamiliar with QAnon, that's about to change. The conspiracy theory has finally gone 100 percent mainstream and is about to be fully unavoidable.

    It's nearly certain there will soon be a QAnon supporter in congress, Fox News is running ads that wink at the conspiracy, and, hell, President Donald Trump is sorta backing it now too.

    First thing first: Marjorie Taylor Greene, a right-wing candidate who buys into the QAnon conspiracy theory, won a House primary runoff election(Opens in a new tab) in Georgia on Tuesday. The district is deeply red, meaning she will almost definitely be elected.

    If you need a very quick primer on QAnon, here you go: It's a deeply strange, pro-Trump conspiracy that believes the president is eventually going to expose and punish a massive pedophile ring among a cabal of U.S. elites. It centers on an anonymous online figure who goes by "Q," and it has so many strange and nearly untraceable tentacles that it's almost impossible to wrap your head around it completely.

    QAnon backers, for instance, have promoted the idea that furniture retailer Wayfair is trafficking kids in overpriced cabinets. The entire conspiracy is completely unfounded and divorced from reality, but its supporters are fervent and very aggressive online.

    Greene is apparently all about it.

    "Q is a patriot," Greene said, for instance, in a YouTube video(Opens in a new tab). "We know that for sure." She adds later in the video: "There's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it."

    Greene also has a history of making racist comments(Opens in a new tab). She has said that Black people "are held slaves to the Democratic Party," according to videos uncovered by Politico(Opens in a new tab).

    "It’s a slavery system to keep their vote," she said.

    Greene claims as well that there was an Islamic invasion of the U.S. government, and she has espoused her belief in the well-worn myth that philanthropist George Soros is a Nazi despite the fact that he's Jewish and survived the Holocaust(Opens in a new tab).

    As you can imagine, some in the GOP have been eager to distance themselves from Greene, considering her extreme and hateful comments and her ongoing support for a conspiracy theory popular on the fringes of the right-wing corners of the internet.

    “The comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting, and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great,” said Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, for instance.

    But, lo and behold, everything changed when Greene won the primary this week. As goes Trump, so goes the Republican party, and the president threw his weight behind Green after she won.

    "Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent," the president tweeted Wednesday morning. "Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER!"

    Back when things happened in-person, Q gear was everywhere at Trump rallies. So it makes sense QAnon supports were elated at Greene's win and Trump's public support, as Rolling Stone wrote(Opens in a new tab). It's a major sign that QAnon — a dangerous and fast-growing movement — is now firmly in the mainstream.

    Alex Kaplan, a researcher with the liberal group Media Matters for America, posted on Twitter that 32 — thirty-two! — congressional or state legislative candidates have both expressed support for QAnon and secured a spot on the ballot in November.

    The conspiracy is now a full-on force in Republican politics. Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer(Opens in a new tab) has routinely reported on the legitimization of QAnon and described how that's an incredibly dangerous proposition.

    "[Greene's election] gets us closer to the day the belief that your opponents are cannibal-pedophiles deserving mass executions is an acceptable opinion," Sommer wrote on Twitter.

    If all of this wasn't strange enough, QAnon has even seeped its way into the absolute dumbest possible place: an advertisement for the Trumpy Bear. Fox News has run the ads for the Trump-themed teddy bear. It begins with a random claim that "a storm is coming," which (without getting too deep in the weeds(Opens in a new tab)) is an obvious reference to a popular QAnon phrase.

    These ads have actually been around for a while(Opens in a new tab) but recently went viral again, seemingly because folks realized QAnon is being used to sell the deeply strange product.

    That's politics and, well, life in 2020 — more and more, QAnon is seeping into mainstream culture. NBC News tracked how "Q" rose(Opens in a new tab) from one of many "anon" accounts to prominence. Basically, a couple of 4Chan accounts and a YouTuber pushed the theory until it caught fire.

    It's tenets are so ridiculous that it's tempting to dismiss it as hilarious. But make no mistake: It's dangerous. It's led to real-world violence. Anthony Comello, alleged killer of a mob boss, cited QAnon theories as the reasoning(Opens in a new tab) for the murder. Reddit has already banned the largest Q-related subreddit(Opens in a new tab) for inciting violence. West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center dubbed it national security risk(Opens in a new tab).

    And now, soon enough, the theory will almost certainly spread into the halls of Congress.

  • How tech companies can turn commitments to diversity into action

    How tech companies can turn commitments to diversity into action

    Big tech companies swear their "commitment to diversity" knows no bounds.


    In reality, many of them employ disproportionately few people of color. Only 5.5 percent(Opens in a new tab) of Google and less than 4 percent of Facebook(Opens in a new tab) is Black, according to their 2020 diversity reports — compared to 13.5 percent of the U.S. population overall.

    The numbers are even worse for high-paying technical roles. Only 9 percent of Apple’s employees were Black in 2018, the last year it released a diversity report(Opens in a new tab). For technical roles, that drops to 6 percent, the same as in 2014.

    For the Black employees who are hired, Silicon Valley can be a difficult place to thrive. Accusations of 'whitewashed' editorial practices at Snap. Claims of barriers to advancement(Opens in a new tab) at Facebook. The truth is that most of them have a long way to go.

    “Tying the lack of diversity in tech to overt racism and structural and institutional racism was incredibly rare,” said Y-Vonne Hutchinson, CEO of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-oriented consulting firm ReadySet(Opens in a new tab). “We're only now at the point where we're really doing this. So in some ways, it's really exciting that people are making those connections."

    "A commitment is one thing. Action is another."

    However, Hutchinson wonders if these companies will follow through.

    As Black Lives Matter demonstrations recently erupted across the country, Silicon Valley execs and power brokers expressed their desire to make the tech industry more equitable. The industry has seen this sentiment before. Following a campaign(Opens in a new tab) from Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition, Google released its first annual diversity report(Opens in a new tab) in 2014, and committed to increasing the representation of women and people of color in its workforce. Other tech giants followed suit(Opens in a new tab).

    Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Google reportedly cut(Opens in a new tab) one popular diversity program entirely (although Google denies this report(Opens in a new tab)). Multiple companies have let go of DEI staff(Opens in a new tab) amid the coronavirus pandemic. And Apple still hasn't released a diversity report for 2019 or 2020. (Mashable reached out to Apple to ask why it stopped releasing the reports, and will update if it responds.)

    Things changed after Donald Trump was elected because tech firms did not want to appear "liberal,"(Opens in a new tab) said Karla Monterroso, CEO of Code2040(Opens in a new tab), an organization that works to empower people of color in tech. The message from the Obama White House — that diversity in tech was important to the government— evaporated.

    Of course, tech companies including Google(Opens in a new tab), Apple(Opens in a new tab), Facebook(Opens in a new tab), Amazon(Opens in a new tab), and others swear that DEI is still important to them. However, their past promises to improve were "very general," according to Monterroso, with goals such as "diversify our workforce" stated alongside the assurance that "diversity is important to us." That led to less scrutiny over lackluster progress.

    Now, companies are putting out new commitments with more concrete goals(Opens in a new tab). This time around, experts are hoping for real change.

    “We're still at the beginning of this,” Hutchinson said. “A commitment is one thing, action is another.”

    That involves a company truly looking inward to address its own problems, and treating a “commitment to diversity” like any other strategic initiative — not just a public talking point.

    Here’s how tech companies can turn words into diverse workplaces.

    1. Identify internal problem areas with an audit

    Before you start building something, you have to get the lay of the land. The same goes for DEI initiatives. And one of the best ways to do that is to undertake a company audit to see what the current state of DEI is at your company.

    “You have to understand with data what is happening,” Monterroso said. “Is your biggest problem in recruiting? Is it in retention? Is it the whole strand from hiring to onboarding to exit that is poisoned? You have to understand what is happening, so that you can target your first intervention to get the biggest bang for your buck.”

    Beyond getting representation numbers, an audit will look at numerical and experiential data like retention of Black and brown employees, whether people of color are assessed on par with white colleagues in performance reviews, whether your workforce is actually hostile to diversity initiatives, and more. Along with assessing the experiences and attitudes of employees, a company can tell if there is systemic bias if people of color are not retained or reviewed at the same rates as their white colleagues.

    An audit at a tech company needs to examine representation in technical roles. Otherwise your company could be re-enforcing unequal power structures and stereotypes in which women and people of color serve in support roles, not as engineers and executives.

    There are firms (including Hutchinson’s ReadySet) that specialize in these sorts of diversity audits. After demand for anti-racist training exploded(Opens in a new tab) in the wake Black Lives Matter protests this spring, the consulting firm Awaken created a spreadsheet(Opens in a new tab) of more than 300 Black-owned organizations offering these services.

    Audits can also be done internally by a person with relevant expertise. Regardless, they should be equipped with a budget, a team, and real institutional power (we'll talk about this more later).

    2. Treat it like any other business decision: Make a strategy

    Once you’ve undertaken an audit, you can build your road map. That involves fixing internal problems first, as opposed to just ramping up hiring, which companies often focus on first(Opens in a new tab), according to Hutchinson.

    “As tempting as it is to start with hiring, the first thing I always recommend, start with diagnosis and strategy,” Hutchinson said. “And really figure out where the big problems in your organization are. And I think that determines the sequence of what you're going to do.”

    Too often, not committing to a strategy informed by an audit, with specific benchmarks to meet, is where DEI commitments go wrong. Treat the commitment to make your workplace more equitable just as you would any other business initiative.

    Not committing to a strategy informed by an audit, with specific benchmarks to meet, is where DEI commitments go wrong

    “There is no other department in all of business, or no other initiative in all of business, where you wouldn’t check the lay of the land and the problems that are there before you start to build a strategy to attack the problem,” Monterroso said. “This is the only one where that happens.”

    A strategy will differ from company to company. For example, one company might focus on restructuring DEI, so it's embedded throughout the company, not siloed in HR. Another might focus on devoting staff to DEI specifically.

    What plans should have in common is specificity. Previous diversity efforts failed because there were no concrete goals, just vague commitments to diversity.

    Just look at Facebook's 2014 commitments(Opens in a new tab), which outline new partnerships and initiatives, without any hard promises. Today, its 2020 diversity report(Opens in a new tab) shows that in the six years since, the number of Black employees has only increased from 2 percent to 3.9 percent, with most of that growth occurring in non-technical roles.

    3. Provide internal transparency, and public accountability

    While specific employees should be empowered to implement DEI initiatives, it’s important to share the vision of the company — and the reality of the situation — with employees. Being transparent about the results of the audit, and outlining the strategy, makes clear to employees that this is a priority.

    “It's like any change management initiative in any department,” Monterroso said. “You have to have a vision for it, and you have to set a vision for your team. And then you set it externally, and create some good winds.”

    Getting everyone on board is especially important in tech, which has traditionally celebrated figures like the lone coder plugging away at all hours, or the socially grating yet visionary entrepreneur. But to change a culture requires group buy-in.

    "Tech has a culture of individualism," Hutchinson said."But actually when we’re thinking about improving companies, collective action works better."

    Sometimes, companies undertake this process backward: they'll make a public-facing statement before communicating internally. But public commitments to diversity can keep businesses accountable, as long as they do the internal work first, and thoughtfully own up to their shortcomings.

    4. Tackle problem areas

    A former Dropbox employee named Angelica Coleman made waves in tech in 2015 when she wrote on Facebook(Opens in a new tab) that, as a Black employee, the racial insensitivity of colleagues and management made it impossible for her to advance. Her story, and others like it(Opens in a new tab), show that before jumping into hiring, companies often have to root out bias that’s entrenched in company systems, power structures, and even employee attitudes.

    It’s crucial to undertake this difficult work first.

    “You're just wasting your time if you don't have all those things in place before you hire, because guaranteed bias is going to affect their hiring process,” Hutchinson said. “It's going to affect how those candidates are vetted. It's going to affect how they're onboard[ed]. It's going to affect their level of compensation, the performance reviews.”

    There are many factors that can undermine efforts to hire and retain diverse candidates, and foster an inclusive environment. Here are just a few:

    • Improving interview skills(Opens in a new tab) to overcome unconscious bias.

    • Removing university pedigree and GPA as part of the screening process. Structural racism limits the representation and success(Opens in a new tab) of Black and brown students at elite universities, and practices like legacy admissions further compound privilege(Opens in a new tab).

    • Equipping the C-Suite with racial and equity coaching: “Your leaders are going to have to lead around something many of them are unfamiliar with, and are quite frankly, very afraid of messing up,” Monterroso said. “They should get coaching for why there is a business case(Opens in a new tab) for this.” Management will need a strong and informed voice to lead employees in undertaking this work.

    • Strategies to deal with people fighting against DEI: “You have a strategy for how you're going to deal with the people that are incredibly adversarial, and disagree with moving into the direction of inclusion,” Monterroso said. “You have to have lines in the sand that you've drawn off, because those folks will become louder and louder.”

    • Reviewing performance metrics to see if they are disproportionately(Opens in a new tab) working against people of color.

    • Putting Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are community support groups for minority or other cultural communities, in place.

    • Auditing salaries to make sure people of color are paid equally.

    5. Critically examine your product

    Recently, tech products like Facebook's advertising tools and Airbnb's host acceptance policies(Opens in a new tab) came under fire for discrimination. Racial bias runs through algorithms that assist with hiring(Opens in a new tab), facial recognition software(Opens in a new tab), and "pretty" filters(Opens in a new tab). If you are a company that wants to follow "commitments" to diversity with action, examine what your company produces, and not just who it employs.

    Creating products that don't have racist undercurrents is another reason companies need to pay special attention to their technical workforce. Aside from the potential for a homogeneous workforce to be more racially insensitive, algorithms and other tech products reflect the biases(Opens in a new tab) of their creators.

    6. Require an investment in the success of DEI at the highest levels of the company

    To set a standard for how important DEI is to the company, executive performance can be tied to DEI success. The people in charge of DEI should also report to the highest levels of the organization, and not just be shunted off into one department, like HR. This helps ensure it is a company-wide initiative, making everyone accountable.

    At the same time, companies need to be conscious that they are not over-burdening the people of color who might be put in these positions. That's why DEI goals like fostering empathetic managers need to be embedded throughout the company, not just relegated to a single department.

    Often, companies hire a VP or other head of DEI, and call it a day(Opens in a new tab). If companies (and executives) do this before doing the auditing and strategy legwork, it means they are outsourcing the hard work, not internalizing it. Monterroso recommends hiring this type of role when a company is “ready,” which means it has done internal reflection first.

    "If you have jumped to hire someone, that is an exporting of your own leadership labor to another human before really doing an evaluation for yourself first," Monterroso said.

    Hutchinson advocates for hiring a head of DEI, as long they report to the C-Suite, and have a team, a budget, and are accountable for success in a measurable way. And while people of color should not bear the brunt of educating colleagues, ensure that the experiences of Black and brown employees inform this work, and that people of color are in leadership positions with the actual power to make change.

    “You need to have executives in charge of your diversity inclusion initiatives that are empowered to make tough decisions to really change the culture of your company,” Hutchinson said. “You have to empower them with a budget and a team and you also have to empower them with real institutional power to make decisions that may be tough decisions but are best for the culture of the company.”

    7. If you're at a young startup, start early

    A company with just a handful of employees has the opportunity to build an inclusive and equitable workforce from the ground up. Hutchinson actually sees building DEI into a startup from its earliest days as an asset.

    "The earlier you start thinking about these issues, and having these as your goals, embedding this into your culture, the better," Hutchinson said. "The bigger you are, the harder this is to do. And then the more stuff you have to undo."

    A smaller company also gives employees the opportunity to have an impact. So if you work at a startup, and notice, hey, all the coders are young dudes from Ivy League schools, Hutchinson says you can try to influence your peers, and eventually your managers, to change the culture.

    8. Commit to a continual effort

    Making sure your workplace is equitable is not a problem you can solve once, and expect to roll on forever. It is something that companies and employees will have to commit to over and over again.

    “The idea that organizations, workplaces by default are going to be inclusive, it's fundamentally flawed,” Hutchinson said. “We're just by default going to be exclusive, because that's the way our labor and our workforce was built in America. And so we have to make conscious efforts over time to fix that. The job doesn't really stop.”

  • Taylor Swift donates $30,000 to help student afford university

    Taylor Swift donates $30,000 to help student afford university

    If you've listened to her new album folklore, you'll already be more than aware of Taylor Swift's ability to brighten up everybody's day in dark times.


    But recently she took things to a whole new level.

    On Thursday, the pop star appears to have donated £23,373 ($30,716) to the GoFundMe(Opens in a new tab) of 18-year-old Vitoria Mario, a student in the UK raising money to put herself through university.

    "I have received a conditional offer to study Mathematics (MMath) at the prestigious University of Warwick. I have already attained AABB at AS Level and I have recently achieved A*A*A in my A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, respectively," reads Mario's GoFundMe page.

    "However, I am still in a position of uncertainty as I may not be able to attend university due to my circumstances. I have lived in the U.K. for 4 years now, after migrating from Portugal to live with family in Tottenham. The socio-economic barriers of not being eligible for maintenance loans/grants is due not only to not having ‘Home’ status, but also because my family are low income, and unable to help me self-fund through university."

    Given that she was unable to obtain a maintenance loan from Student Finance England, Mario was attempting to raise £40,000 ($52,600) in order to cover the costs of accommodation, equipment, and living for her four-year course. But after 20 days of funding, she still hadn't quite hit the halfway mark.

    That is until Thursday, when Swift stepped in.

    Credit: gofundme

    "Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality," reads Swift's donation message. "I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor."

    SEE ALSO: Taylor Swift's 'folklore' is a gorgeous mood

    At the time of writing Mario's page has cruised passed its target, with the total currently standing at £42,673. New donations are coming in all the time, too.

    Needless to say, Mario was more than just a little excited.

    OK, so there's no way of surefire proving this time that this is the actual Taylor Swift — it could always be someone posing as her by entering her name as theirs on GoFundMe — without a statement from Swift herself, but given the size of the donation and the singer's history of digital philanthropy, it seems like a pretty fair assumption to make.

    This isn't the first time Swift has given money away online. Just a few months back, a number of her fans(Opens in a new tab) who had appealed for help during the coronavirus also received $3,000 donations from the singer.

    Mashable has reached out to Mario with additional questions.

  • Freeforms Love in the Time of Corona is surprisingly welcome comfort viewing

    Freeforms Love in the Time of Corona is surprisingly welcome comfort viewing

    Every TV show we’ve watched in 2020 is fantasy.


    That’s the simple truth of living through a global pandemic in which close proximity with other human beings is the enemy. You can’t relate to going to a party on Netflix's Never Have I Ever any more than you can relate to plotting to overthrow a Russian czar on Hulu's The Great. Even shows that aren’t high fantasy or historical fiction depict a reality that grows more distant every day.

    Freeform's Love in the Time of Corona is one of the rare pieces of media to reach us during the COVID-19 crisis that reflects it directly. Somehow, with a spare production team, committed actors, and the supervision of executive producer Joanna Johnson, it works.

    Love in the Time of Corona, which is effectively Love Actually: Quarantine Edition and not really hiding it, explores exactly what it says in the title. It does not deal with politics or epidemiology, and no characters have direct interaction with the virus or anyone who has had it. This is about nothing more or less than human connection; the relationships that consume our minds and hearts no matter the state of the world.

    The show follows four storylines: Young parents considering having another child, two besties who pick each other's quarantine dates, a middle-aged couple hiding their separation from their teenage daughter, and an older woman trying to connect with her son while her husband is in an assisted care facility. The entire four-episode miniseries was scripted and filmed during quarantine with actors who were already in the same household.

    It would be normal to approach this show with trepidation, wary of how it will address the pandemic and if it will feel forced. Life has changed for all of us, and many have suffered unimaginable loss. But Love in the Time of Corona works because it reflects the lived reality of everyone involved, from the cast to the audience to the director of photography remotely controlling cameras from a tent outside. Johnson worked with a minimal crew, sometimes enlisting others in the actors' households as support crew while her own team worked remotely nearby.

    As such, Love in the Time of Corona is free of the burden of world building, because the virus and how it changed the world are an unavoidable reality. The show is very much aware of how the pandemic affects us, and explaining pandemic rules or reality would be like a character explaining to someone else what happened on 9/11. No one leaves their homes, except for a military-grade grocery run and a celebratory drive by. Any interaction beyond that is over social media or video chat and, in one case, an extremely cute and distant back-and-forth from a balcony. The most unrealistic part of the whole show is when one character wears jeans, but it doesn't last long.

    There is immense relief in watching a show without being constantly distracted or horrified by who’s hugging and kissing and holding hands with impunity, as we all did in the Before Times. For the first time since March, we can watch something that reflects our current reality — not on Zoom or starring a late-night host alone without pants. That’s a comfort I didn’t know I needed. The world is burning, but the characters find excitement and hope in minor daily interactions, just as we all have, trying to stay sane and feel connected to each other by something other than collective trauma and grief.

    Leslie Odom Jr. and Nicolette Robinson in "Love in the Time of Corona." Credit: Freeform

    The most we depart from our characters' quarantine bubbles is with James (Hamilton's Leslie Odom, Jr.), who questions his willingness to have a second child after seeing video of the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Instead of a ham-fisted social justice storyline (we dread the next season of This Is Us), the show turns inward, focusing on James' own experience as a Black man in America and how his joy alone can be an act of resistance.

    The other storylines unfold with pleasant predictability. With the outside world as uncertain as it is during COVID-19 lockdown, Love in the Time of Corona offers comfort in playing it safe. The besties have feelings for each other — or do they? The separated husband and wife still have chemistry, of course! Relationships are mended and forged without a lot of real life's more bulky baggage, but not without its complexity and warmth.

    The story in the show is less revelatory than the story of the show. Love in the Time of Corona could have been thoughtless, cringey, and poorly-made all around. Instead, it shows that art can and will endure this moment, with love behind it.

    Love in the Time of Corona airs Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23, at 8 p.m. on Freeform(Opens in a new tab).

    Related Video: What to binge on the best 30-day free trials

  • Vanessa Bryant and others share emotional memories of Kobe on his birthday

    Vanessa Bryant and others share emotional memories of Kobe on his birthday

    Kobe Bryant — basketball legend, beloved father, husband, mentor, and sports icon — should be celebrating his 42nd birthday today.


    Tragically, he and eight others, including daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter accident on Jan. 26, 2020. But as his friends, family, peers, and fans are making clear today, legends live on forever in the hearts of all those who loved them.

    Vanessa Bryant shared a heartbreaking Instagram post(Opens in a new tab) honoring her late husband's birthday. (While her profile is currently set to private, the message was screenshotted(Opens in a new tab) and shared(Opens in a new tab) by several notable public figures on Twitter.)

    "To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh. I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way," she wrote.

    "There's so much I wish I could tell you and show you and Gigi. So many things you would both be happy to see and be a part of. So many milestones for our girls. So many things you would be proud of. I’m so thankful I have pieces of heaven here on earth to wake up for- thanks to YOU," she continued, before ending with more words of gratitude. "Thank you for loving me enough to last several lifetimes. In every lifetime I would choose YOU. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always."

    Daughter Natalia Bryant shared her own message to her father on Instagram(Opens in a new tab) as well, alongside a baby photo: "Happy Bithday Dad❤️ I miss your smile, laugh and big bear hugs. Happy Birthday to the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for. I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always. Always, Slim," the post reads.

    Kobe Bryant touched countless lives. Others close to him also shared bittersweet messages of celebration and mourning on Twitter. Fellow NBA legend and friend, Bill Russell, sent love and strength to Bryant's family members, as well as his own feelings of devastating loss.

    But Kobe's impact went across all aisles of the sports world. NFL player Russell Wilson marked the NBA legend's birthday under the hashtag #MambaForever.

    His former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, posted a montage highlighting many of Bryant's accomplishments on and off the court, especially as a father and husband.

    Bryant spent much of his time in retirement supporting women's basketball, as seen in a video on his impact from ESPNW. His daughter Gigi's former AAU team thanked their mentor and coach with a montage as well.

    ESPN and Snoop Dogg teamed up for a tribute video as well. The rap shows how much he meant to people across America, from Philly where he grew up to Los Angeles where he became a national champion.

  • Congresswoman goes viral for proving postmaster cant answer simple postage questions

    Congresswoman goes viral for proving postmaster cant answer simple postage questions

    One would assume that the postmaster general — the chief executive officer of the U.S. Postal Service — would be able to answer basic questions about the agency he oversees. But apparently that's not a requirement of the job.


    On Monday, when Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the House Oversight Committee about his recent management of the USPS and the future of mail-in ballots, his lack of knowledge regarding the most basic postage-related questions was made very apparent.

    When California Congresswoman Katie Porter called in to question DeJoy via video chat, the hearing really heated up. After asking DeJoy how much a first class postage stamp costs, Rep. Porter proceeded to grill him on other simple questions including how much it costs to mail a post card or a square envelope, the weight limit and starting rate for USPS priority mail, and more.

    DeJoy replied to Rep. Porter's questioning with more than one "I don't know," and several bouts of nervous laughter. At one point, he even said, "I'll submit that I know very little about a postage stamp," and he was unable to identify how many people voted by mail in the last U.S. presidential election.

    After DeJoy failed to answer the majority of Rep. Porter's questions, the Congresswoman said, "So Mr. DeJoy, I'm concerned. I'm glad you know the price of a stamp, but I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency."

    Prior to the hearing, Rep. Porter gave DeJoy fair warning that she'd be showing up to the hearing prepared. On Aug. 17, she tweeted, "I hope the Postmaster General comes prepared. I know I will."

    After questioning DeJoy on Monday, Rep. Porter followed up on her Aug. 17 tweet by adding, "Spoiler alert: he did not," along with a fiery GIF.

    Rep. Porter's interaction with DeJoy — and the sheer revelation that the Postmaster General doesn't know simple facts, such as how much it costs to mail a postcard — were so eye-opening that a clip of the exchange went viral on Monday afternoon. Many praised Porter's questions, and some expressed concern over DeJoy's inability to properly respond.

    Can't say she didn't warn him.

  • *That* Chadwick Boseman tweet is now Twitters most Liked of all time

    *That* Chadwick Boseman tweet is now Twitters most Liked of all time

    On Friday evening, Aug. 29, 2020, the people of Twitter received the devastating news of Chadwick Boseman's death at the too-young age of 43.


    The news came in the form of a photo and a statement posted to the Black Panther star's official Twitter account. We learned that he'd been secretly contending with colon cancer for four years, and that he'd been juggling some of the best work of his life alongside ongoing treatment. Obviously, the tweet blew up.

    It blew up so big, in fact, that Twitter confirmed it as the "most liked tweet ever" on Saturday. "A tribute fit for a king," the tweet read, in a nod to Boseman's role as the Wakandan king T'Challa in Panther, before driving the point home with a #WakandaForever hashtag.

    (And to be clear for social media neophytes, clicking "Like" doesn't necessarily mean you like the news.)

    The previous "most Liked" tweet on Twitter, with more than 4.3 million Likes, is this one from Barack Obama:

    At the moment I'm writing this sentence, Boseman's tweet has 5,545,663 Likes. For comparison, the number was roughly 5,533,000 when I first started writing all of this down a few minutes ago. And in the time since I started this paragraph, that total has jumped up by almost 3,000 Likes.

    Twitter had no further comment or metrics to share relating to the tweet when Mashable reached out for more information. Though Black Panther notably became the most tweeted about movie ever in 2018, and we're told Twitter reactivated the old #BlackPanther emoji as fans of the movie have started working to organize(Opens in a new tab) watch parties(Opens in a new tab).

    The anguish that followed news of Boseman's death has been palpable on social media since word first emerged on Friday night. He was a gifted performer, but also a good person. Black Panther catapulted Boseman into a stratosphere of celebrity that few get to see, and one of the most wonderful things about him was how he used that platform to spread good in the world and, more specifically, uplift Black people everywhere.

    We hate the news but we Like the tweet. In doing so, we acknowledge the passing of a true king. Now at 5,574,453 and counting.

  • Singles dont want to date non-voters, according to new OkCupid survey

    Singles dont want to date non-voters, according to new OkCupid survey

    If I'm perusing a dating app and someone mentions being apolitical, or not caring about politics, I grimace. Being apolitical? In this (ravaged) economy (and global pandemic and time of social unrest)?


    I'm not alone in this, according to data found by OkCupid(Opens in a new tab). Over 500,000 users said they couldn't date someone who didn't vote, according to new data provided by the dating app. Those who say they're registered voters are 63 percent more likely to get a match — and 85 percent more likely to receive a message.

    SEE ALSO: The funniest dating memes for finding love during these trying times

    Given that its user base cares about the upcoming election, OkCupid is launching the Voter 2020(Opens in a new tab) badge to millions of users across the country. Here's how it'll work(Opens in a new tab): The app will ask users the new matching question, "Are you registered to vote in the 2020 election?" Those who answer yes will see the badge automatically added to their profile.

    What about if users answer no? In a partnership with When We All Vote(Opens in a new tab) (WWAV) — a non-profit dedicated to increasing voter participation, co-chaired by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, and other A-listers — a page from OkCupid and WWAV will pop-up so the user can register.

    Credit: okcupud

    "Now more than ever, daters want to connect with people who share their values," said Ariel Charytan, CEO at OkCupid in a press statement. "We have always empowered people to match on what matters to them, and our millions of daters across the United States overwhelmingly prioritize civic engagement when it comes to finding someone they are compatible with. So this year, we are thrilled to announce our first-ever Voter 2020 badge, which will allow people to connect over their shared passion for exercising their right to vote."

    It's not just being involved in politics that matters — it's the politics themselves that can be dealbreakers. Seventy-six percent of respondents said that a potential match's political leaning is very important, according to OkCupid's Voter 2020 Report(Opens in a new tab).

    The majority of OKC users surveyed lean left: 73 percent of women and 57 percent of men. Coronavirus is at least one reason for this, with 2.4 times more people saying the pandemic has made them more liberal in a question answered by 250,000 people about how coronavirus has impacted them.

    This is far from the first time OkCupid has gotten involved in social issues; earlier this year, they introduced a Black Lives Matter badge and opened up its pronoun feature to all users. In 2020, being apolitical is not only irresponsible but it's a turnoff — and OkCupid users just proved that.

    Related Video: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Biden and Harris launch yard signs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Biden and Harris launch yard signs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are taking their 2020 campaign to new horizons — Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to be specific.


    On Tuesday, the Verge first reported(Opens in a new tab) that starting Sept. 1, official Biden-Harris lawn signs will be available for ACNH players to download and display around their islands.

    The campaign created four designs that Animal Crossing fans can download to show their support for the 2020 Democratic candidates. There's an official Biden-Harris logo, a Team Joe logo, a Pride-inspired Joe logo, and an American-themed aviators print. Images shared by the campaign also feature Biden and Harris characters in the game, and it's worth noting that Biden is holding a balloon above. (Finally, some balloon action in this election cycle.)

    Biden and Harris characters in "ACNH." Credit: biden for president
    Biden posing with Pride sign in "ACNH." Credit: biden for president

    To access the designs(Opens in a new tab), ACNH players will have to use the QR scanner in the Nintendo Switch Online app. Once you sign in and click on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, hit the "Designs" NookLink app and select "Scan a QR code using your camera."

    After following those steps, you'll be able to scan the codes below and access the designs in the game.

    Biden-Harris ACNH design. Credit: Biden for president
    ACNH Team Joe design. Credit: biden for president
    Pride-inspired Joe design. Credit: biden for president
    Aviators design. Credit: biden for president

    Once the designs are uploaded to your game, you can also use them to create other merch and display one as your island's official flag, like so.

    A Biden-Harris flag in "ACNH." Credit:

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons has essentially been *the* game of quarantine, so it makes sense why the Biden-Harris campaign would use it to try to reach its millions of players(Opens in a new tab) and attempt to appeal to younger voters.

    "Animal Crossing is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful platform that brings communities together from across the world. It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands," Christian Tom, the Biden campaign's director of digital partnerships, said in a statement provided to Mashable.

    "As we enter the final campaign stretch towards November, this is one way we are finding new creative and innovative ways to meet voters where they are and bring our supporters together," Tom said. "This is just the start of how we plan to engage players ahead of November as we're already looking forward to rolling out more digital swag, voter education tools, and organizing efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms."

    The yard signs are also featured in Biden's online campaign store(Opens in a new tab), and there's more ACNH merch to come.

    This isn't the first time presidential candidates have tried to stay hip by incorporating video games into their campaigns. Remember when Hillary Clinton told everyone(Opens in a new tab) to "Pokémon Go to the polls?"

    It's risky move to try to appeal to younger generations using their own interests, and it definitely has a cringe factor, but we'll see how Biden and Harris' latest play works.

    Stay tuned to see if Donald Trump and Mike Pence try to campaign via video game, or if Biden and Harris go for Fortnite next.

    UPDATE: Sept. 1, 2020, 3:16 p.m. EDT Updated to include statements and additional images from Biden for President.

Random articles


  • 2021 revived pop-punk. It makes perfect sense.

    2021 revived pop-punk. It makes perfect sense.

    It's hard to argue there was a more important — and surprising — musician in 2021 than Olivia Rodrigo. She went from relative unknown to complete superstar, and she did it using, in part, the revived sound of pop-punk.


    What a world. No, seriously, what a world. Because I'd argue the specific conditions of 2021 helped resuscitate pop-punk, a genre of music near and dear to my heart (and the hearts of lots of other people born in the early '90s). Following the new wave punk scene of the '70s and '80s, pop-punk went mainstream with commercially successful bands like Sum 41, Blink-182, Paramore, and Green Day. It is exactly what its name implies: a more pop version of punk.

    This year was such a strange one, a witch's brew of half normalcy — some concerts, some school, some seeing family — but persistent pandemic horrors. And each time things seemed to move toward recovery, the world delivered a blow (hello, Delta and Omicron). I cannot imagine experiencing this year as a kid or Gen Z'er in the prime of their young lives.

    There's something to the fact that pop-punk's resurgence followed the widespread adoption of snark-laden online doomerism, the idea that, well, everything sucks...

    It's such an adult world to be thrust into and as young people took that on, they helped set pop culture's path, as young people always do.

    There's something to the fact that pop-punk's resurgence followed the widespread adoption of snark-laden online doomerism(Opens in a new tab), the idea that, well, everything sucks and the impending global emergencies — climate, pandemic, political, etc. — are nearly impossible to reverse. The world's burning, so we might as well laugh.

    Consider these lyrics from Rodrigo, again, perhaps the breakout pop grrrl of the year. This is the opening track, titled "brutal," of the 18-year-old idol's debut album. Really take it in.

    "I'm so tired that I might
    Quit my job, start a new life
    And they'd all be so disappointed
    'Cause who am I, if not exploited?

    … And I'm so sick of 17
    Where's my fucking teenage dream?
    If someone tells me one more time
    'Enjoy your youth,' I'm gonna cry
    And I don't stick up for myself
    I'm anxious and nothing can help
    And I wish I'd done this before
    And I wish people liked me more

    … All I did was try my best
    This the kind of thanks I get?
    Unrelentlessly upset (ah, ah, ah)
    They say these are the golden years
    But I wish I could disappear
    Ego crush is so severe
    God, it's brutal out here"

    This song unquestionably kicks ass, and without question it also borrows its sound from the pop-punk of the late '90s and early 2000s. (For what it's worth, Rodrigo takes her style cues(Opens in a new tab) from that era too.) But it's also what's resonating with her target audience, aka teens and twentysomethings, and thus the culture writ large. Rodrigo's "good 4 u" even sounded, well, a lot like Paramore's "Misery Business(Opens in a new tab)," a classic of the pop-punk genre — so much so that those similarities landed Paramore's Hayley Williams and Joshua Farro retroactive songwriting credits(Opens in a new tab) on the track.

    And it wasn't just Rodrigo leading the pop-punk charge. Machine Gun Kelly reinvented himself, ditching rap for angsty, quaint rock songs that echoed Blink-182. Meet Me @ The Alter turned the 2000s(Opens in a new tab), white guy pop-punk paradigm on its head with kick-ass songs like "Hit Like A Girl." "Meet Me At Our Spot(Opens in a new tab)" — from the Anxiety, Willow, and Tyler Cole — was a legit trend(Opens in a new tab) on TikTok, soundtracking more than 400,000 videos on the app.

    Pop-punk was even a massive part of K-pop this year, with groups like Tomorrow X Together(Opens in a new tab) and ENHYPEN(Opens in a new tab) embracing the sound on a global scale. Though referring to K-pop as only one type of music is reductive, it's still surreal to see a style and sound so familiar to my youth in Wilmington, Delaware become hugely influential to young people in South Korea and throughout other parts of the world today.

    Now, to be clear, I'm not here to say that the specific hellscape of the last two years inspired this revival. I think we'd been heading that direction. After all, cultural trends are cyclical, resurfacing every 20 years or so. The punk movement of the late '70s gave way to the birth of pop-punk in the early 2000s, which has ultimately inspired this current wave of stars — Rodrigo, Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, YUNGBLUD, and more — to get loud. That being said, 2021 was the perfect year for a pop-punk renaissance.

    The year was seemingly defined by angsty lyrics, bleached hair, and baggy jeans. All of sudden, I am back in middle school begging my parents to let me dye my hair. The 2000s became a source of nostalgia for Gen Z and '90s kids alike. Mashable's Elena Cavender wrote about the TikTok accounts solely devoted to mashing up nostalgic videos of the Y2K era, typically catching scenes of teens bopping around their high school halls.

    SEE ALSO: TikTok's nostalgia-fueled obsession with the early 2000s

    "High school in the early 2000s is not an experience most TikTok users have, but alas they yearn for it and idealize it," Cavender, who is Gen Z, wrote. TikTokkers comment about how great it all looks.

    I can assure you it did not feel that great, but you know what? At least our problems, as kids growing up in the 2000s, were kid stuff. Sure, there were awful wars, and a financial collapse, but for many of us, those things were secondary to our normal kid shit. I can see how looking back at those videos are nostalgic, maybe even idyllic, for Zoomers living in today's fast-paced modern world, where everything is so much all the time. For us, there was no endless doomscrolling and the doom was more avoidable — this pandemic is impossible to ignore.

    So amid that nostalgia, it of course makes absolute sense that an angsty music genre from that era would resurface. Bringing back the 2000s was already a trend. For generations, young people have made ugly crap from decades ago look cool again. It's only natural pop-punk's chugga-chugga chords, angry lyrics, and general disdain for... positivity... would become popular alongside that style.

    Now, what pop-punk is, is kind of in the eye of the beholder. But a key element is a dejected attitude that relies on self-deprecation. Think of the Blink-182 classic(Opens in a new tab) "What's My Age Again," where the narrator trips over himself constantly because he's an immature idiot. The central tension of so many pop-punk songs is some mix of woe-is-me paired with exhaustion at yourself for feeling woe-is-me. Today's "Meet Me At Our Spot," which is far more pop than punk, but still relies on the narrators' admitting how they're kind of fucking up before saying screw it, let's drive around town. It's a combination of we're fucked, so let's get loud. There's sincerity mixed with withholding. Yes, things are bad but LOL, isn't that just how things go? What is more 2021 than that? We've all had to redefine what it means for things to go well.

    Everything good, it seems, is couched with "but you know things are still bad." Hell, Machine Gun Kelly's breakout album was called Tickets To My Downfall, as in "everyone wants to see me fail." Rodrigo's massive album was titled Sour, as in, "I'm, bitter, isn't that embarrassing?" There's something about 2021 — a year where everything was just more of the same — where that kind of angst is perfect.

    Our world, especially our online world — come to think of it, what is our world if not entirely online? — increasingly rejects the idea of full sincerity. Even commercials these days are cloyingly meta, winking at the consumer as if to say, "Can you believe we're selling stuff to you?" Even Flo from those Progressive ads(Opens in a new tab) has begun breaking the fourth wall.

    There's something about 2021 — a year where everything was just more of the same — where that kind of angst is perfect.

    Pop-punk allows for anger with some distance, or at least some acknowledgment of your own faults. Sad songs are sincere. Angry songs are loud, but one-dimensional. Pop-punk songs are angsty and emotional, but often under the surface, really sad and kind of... angry at the idea of feeling bad for yourself. It's being sad and angry and heartbroken and rolling your eyes at the idea of the being the person who's sad and angry and heartbroken. What gives you the right? Scroll back up and re-read those lyrics from "brutal." It's awful to think of a teen experiencing that level of dread and yet, they're offset by the winking, perfect line, "God, it's brutal out here," delivered with knowing snark.

    That's the magic of pop-punk music. It's angry like punk, but just poppy enough to pay off with a clean hook. The closing lyrics from one of my favorite pop-punk songs, PUP's "Free at Last(Opens in a new tab)," declare: "I'm waking up again / Knowing nothing really matters at all / Just 'cause you're sad again / It doesn't make you special."

    That's one of the defining feelings of 2021. You're sad? Get in line. That's frustrating but freeing, especially when screamed atop a catchy guitar riff.

  • Over 1 million users and counting: How Hive Social became Twitters newest rival

    Over 1 million users and counting: How Hive Social became Twitters newest rival

    For the past four days, social app Hive Social has been sitting pretty near the top of the list of most-popular free apps in the entire App store — above TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and, yes, Twitter. Elon Musk's tumultuous Twitter takeover has prompted hundreds of thousands users to flee the app into the warm, waiting arms of alternatives like Hive Social, which has seen growth of more than 750,000 users since Thursday, Nov. 17.


    Hive is helmed by 24-year-old CEO Raluca Pop, who also goes by Kassandra when people have difficulty pronouncing her Romanian name. She and two teammates — marketer Pablo and developer Josh (their last names kept off the record for privacy) — have been working furiously over the last four days to keep up with demand.

    But when Mashable reaches Pop late in the evening on Nov. 21, she sounds like a vacationing optimist: calm, cheerful, and grateful. If she's stressed or nervous about the growth of her app, it doesn't show. There's an eagerness in the way she signs off our call by saying, "I'll most likely be up again all night."

    We chatted with Pop about Hive's humble beginnings, it's rapid growth, and what it feels like to be on Musk's radar.

    Self-funded, self-built, and home to 1 million users

    In June 2019, Pop began to build an app using coding skills she had taught herself. Though she had no technical background (she graduated with a psychology degree), Pop launched the first version of Hive in October 2019. She believed in it so much that she soon took out two personal loans to hire a freelance developer and pay for server space. Just one other person, an angel investor who personally enjoyed the app, pitched in $25,000 investment to cover expenses.

    As reported by Teen Vogue,(Opens in a new tab) the app's first influx of mostly Gen Z users came in early February 2021. Pop recalls that One Direction stan account 1DPsychic(Opens in a new tab) (which appears to no longer be very active) shared a screenshot of Hive Social on Twitter. Fans poured in, especially K-pop fans. "All of a sudden, we had this massive influx... it really pushed the boundaries of the servers," she says. "It was just another wild ride like right now, although right now we're way better prepared."

    Last Thursday, Nov. 17, was "just a normal day" says Pop. That is, until Hive started trending on Twitter. "I sat in the same spot on my bed just with my phone, looking at all the comments and responding to everybody," she marvels. "And just seeing our number go up on trending that day, in the Philippines and Thailand too. That's when the K-pop fans came, that was the first big wave."

    Last week, just as they did in 2021, K-pop fans embraced Hive Social as a new outlet for expression. The first to arrive were Carats, fans of K-pop group Seventeen, who were directed to the app by a fellow fan's tweet(Opens in a new tab) that now has more than 129,000 likes. Word spread from there: a post about Hive(Opens in a new tab) from a fan of the group Treasure received 11,000 likes. Next came the Star Wars(Opens in a new tab) fandom(Opens in a new tab). Then the gamers(Opens in a new tab) arrived.

    Pop estimates that more than 80,000 people created accounts on the app between Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. "Our servers did crash. We were working frantically on Friday to get them back up."

    Three days later, on Monday, Nov. 21, the app tweeted that it had reached 1 million users.(Opens in a new tab) The timing was perfect: Pop's team had released the first Android version of the app less than a week prior. And the numbers keep growing: on Tuesday, the Hive Twitter account noted that 250,000 users had joined overnight.(Opens in a new tab)

    Raising $250,000 in 72 hours

    Hive Social's rise in popularity hasn't just grown its user base but its funding, too. More than 800 people have invested more than $300,000 into the app since Thursday through crowdfunding site WeFunder(Opens in a new tab).

    Pop is stunned. She says she's been approached by venture capitalists to pitch Hive to investors many times, but no one has ever taken the leap. An abysmal 2 percent of all VC funding(Opens in a new tab) went to women-led businesses in 2021, and a fraction of that goes to Black and Hispanic women founders. "We have to work a million times harder to be taken seriously," Pop says. "You and me could go to pitch Hive tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure we wouldn't even raise the amount of VC funding that a guy could [by] just walk[ing] in, pre-revenue pre-product. I've seen the difference in how we're treated. I call it how I see it."

    Hive has blown past its investment goal in less than a week. Credit: WeFunder, Hive

    Pop credits writer Clarkisha Kent(Opens in a new tab) for seeing Hive Social's value first, and advocating for it to others. "She's been a huge supporter of Hive, sharing our posts, commenting and liking, and trying to tell people about it," says Pop. When Kent asked Pop if there was any other way to support the app, Pop remembered that a WeFunder page she had set up a year ago was still online.

    "We didn't have anything in the account Thursday morning," Pop says, "I sent [the link] to [Kent], and I didn't think anything of it." After years of VC rejection, Pop wasn't convinced it would make a difference. "Who knows if people really want to take a chance to actually put their own money in? And then they did. And it was just wild. We went from $0 to $245,000."

    "We are really grateful to everyone who's contributed... It's so awesome," says Pop. "You get to actually read people's comments along with their investment," and it's all thanks to Kent's initial belief in the app. "She wanted to see the app thrive because... for women in tech, it's really, really hard to be taken seriously," Pop says, "I really appreciate her help. She's done so much for us."

    Why people love Hive

    Pop says users tell her that Hive Social is "much more intuitive" to use than alternatives, but Pop thinks the app's competitive advantage is "the care that [our team has] put into the community... I think we built a different culture around the app."

    To start, "we did make some pretty vocal statements that [former President Donald] Trump and [Andrew] Tate are banned from the platform. There's no place for white supremacists(Opens in a new tab) on the app." And the team values engaging with the community directly and being transparent about how small but mighty they are.

    Pop is quite active on the company's Twitter account, updating followers on the status of the app and its crashes, replying to questions, and retweeting user feedback and content. Pablo runs the Hive Brazil Twitter account, reaching out to Latin American users who often are forgotten in the race for relevance in North America. For Pop, outreach on Twitter is crucial to making users feel heard so that the team can make the app better. The trick is "being personal... so you don't sound like a robot. We try to have fun with it. And honestly, we do because it's our passion."

    Those who fled Twitter to flock to Hive Social seem to revel the return to a platform rooted in aesthetics. Tweets show that people love the customization of visual elements, like changing the color of your profile, as well as the ability to add songs. And those features remind millennial users of the mid-aughts delights of MySpace or the thrills of 2010s Tumblr. The app also incorporates an optional personal Q&A function that was popularized on platforms like Tumblr and CuriousCat.

    Over the next month, the team plans to push out weekly development updates to the app to accommodate feedback. "A lot of people are also dissatisfied with feedback that they give other apps, that it's not really taken into consideration," Pop says. "So we do our best to listen. And obviously, we can't incorporate every single suggestion. But we try our best to accommodate everyone."

    Their main focus for future updates is amping up accessibility. Alt-text, a standard accessibility feature, is at the top of their list. Pop and Josh will be also be adding new text type and sizing options for a handful of users who have said they have trouble reading in the app. And one user has suggested replacing swiping with tapping so people with limited hand movement can better use certain features, which Pop says is an option they'll add soon. "It doesn't really matter to us if it's a small group of people" asking for a feature, she says. "We would rather have the option to accommodate them if needed."

    "Elon is watching"

    What's next for Hive Social, now that it has the internet's attention and $300,000 dollars to support its growth? Pop plans to quit her full-time nonprofit job to focus on Hive 24/7. But she is cautious about growing her team and its ambitions too quickly. "We don't want to expand ourselves too much... we want to use [the funds] wisely."

    Even if this wave of users becomes a trickle, the team has support: It was recently accepted into the Google for Startups Cloud Program, which provides access to technical training, business support, and up to $200,000 of cloud cost coverage. And when it comes to long-term monetization, Pop points to the app's two functioning revenue streams: "minimally invasive," post-like ads that Pop says users don't seem to mind and adding additional songs to your profile, starting at $.99.

    But when asked about future plans around revenue, Pop demurs: "I don't want to give out too much of that, just because I know Elon is watching." She suspects that the Twitter CEO is keeping an eye on Hive Social after Twitter users noticed(Opens in a new tab) that the app's Twitter profile and replies to its posts may have been suppressed. After our conversation, Musk replies to a tweet mentioning Hive.

    Pop's not phased by the "newfound pressure." She's been preparing for this moment for a long time. "I think people are concerned [that] it's just two people [running the app](Opens in a new tab), but it's been two people for two years. We are used to functioning this way. All three of us being passionate about it makes it feel a little a little easier."

    Does Pop plan to take any time off soon? "I had been meaning to explore the West Hollywood area," she laughs. "My plans were thwarted this past weekend, but in the best way."

  • Bust out of a boring frames rut with 30% off frames and lenses at Coastal

    Bust out of a boring frames rut with 30% off frames and lenses at Coastal

    The following content is brought to you by Mashable partners. If you buy a product featured here, we may earn an affiliate commission or other compensation.


    TL;DR: Get 30% off new frames and lenses at Coastal with the code FRESH30(Opens in a new tab).

    You’re at home, on the computer, staring at the screen — again. Maybe you’re sending an email or waiting for someone to “circle back.” Or maybe you’re staring at your own face, dusty old frames and all, as you wait for the rest of the group to join a Zoom call.

    For many of us work-from-homers, marathon sessions in front of a laptop are the norm, which also means a lot of blue light and eye strain. If you gave up on contacts last spring and haven’t yet thought about getting new glasses, now may be the perfect opportunity with Coastal’s spring sale(Opens in a new tab), during which you can take up to 30% off frames and 30% off lenses with the code FRESH30(Opens in a new tab), through May 4.

    Though the offers cannot be combined, it's also worth mentioning that customers who are new to Coastal can save 25% on their first pair of glasses.

    Beyond the sale, Coastal’s mission is also a good incentive to buy, as every purchase contributes to their effort to eradicate poor vision globally. Their buy one, give one mission donates one pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair you buy. Coastal has donated over 500,000 glasses so far.

    Derek Cardigan 7001 eyeglasses Credit: coastal

    For those still wary about buying frames in person, or simply used to buying everything online by this point, Coastal provides a great way to shop for new glasses. You can put your webcam to new use on their website by “trying on” glasses virtually. So if you’ve always wondered what you’d look like in a striking pair of retro glasses(Opens in a new tab) with round frames in “glamoflauge,” this is your moment to finally don a pair.

    Whether you want to refresh your current look or try something new, Coastal has tons of styles. You can shop by frame style, where choices include everyday frames and throwback frames, or by shape, inclusive of rectangles, aviators, and D frames. Color selection is also plentiful, with options including blush, teal, “whiskey fade,” or any number of tortoiseshell variations. The “dying your own hair” stage of quarantine may be behind us, but we like to think “bold new glasses color” is a phase worth rocking behind a screen and in-person.

    Last but not least, the promise of good weather is close enough to taste, and that means breaking out the sunnies. Coastal offers a huge variety of sunglasses, from modern to retro. We’d wager they’ll be equally stylish whether you rock them on your front stoop or a beach blanket in a couple of months.

    So while you wait for that teammate to circle back and spring to arrive, consider zhushing up your Zoom face by treating yourself to one (or two, or three) new pairs of glasses. You may not have 20/20 vision, but the value of this sale is still pretty clear.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: COASTAL
    Take 30% off new frames and lenses at Coastal with the code FRESH30 through May 4 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for September 18

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for September 18

    Sunday's Quordle is not the hardest of all time, but is it challenging enough to need a little help? Absolutely.


    Fortunately it's not hard to find the Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

    What is Quordle?

    Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

    Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

    Yes, though not diabolically so.

    Where did Quordle come from?

    Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

    How is Quordle pronounced?

    “Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

    Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

    Yes and no.

    Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

    After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

    What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

    Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

    Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

    Is there a way to get the answer faster?

    In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

    Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand(Opens in a new tab) suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

    Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

    If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

    A semi-useful hint about today’s puzzle

    Synonyms for all four words are in the following very strange sentence (in no particular order).

    She was a real beauty, and she could orchestrate a lovely poem reading, though her delivery was always a bit apprehensive.

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    One has the rare double double letters, meaning it has a total of three original letters.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?


    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    S, P, B, and S.

    What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

    Are you sure you want to know?

    There’s still time to turn back.

    OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

    1. SHAKY

    2. PSALM

    3. BELLE

    4. STAGE

  • Estefania "Tefi" Pessoa refuses to chase the storm

    Estefania "Tefi" Pessoa refuses to chase the storm

    I first met Estefania "Tefi" Pessoa on TikTok. I have never seen Tefi IRL nor have we ever had a conversation outside of this interview, but that's what makes Tefi, or @hellotefi on TikTok(Opens in a new tab) and Instagram,(Opens in a new tab) so good at what she does: When she popped up on my For You Page I felt like I had met her. She's famously transparent about her botox, her skincare(Opens in a new tab), and her love for Britney Spears. She regularly gives advice to her followers and her opinions on just about everything in pop culture (but only if she thinks she can add to the discussion in a meaningful way).


    She first rose to prominence by doing these pop culture deep-dives on TikTok, in which she spends a considerable amount of time breaking down everything from Amy Winehouse's life(Opens in a new tab) to the Don't Worry Darling drama(Opens in a new tab) to her 1.5 million followers. She currently hosts MTV’s YouTube competition series "Merch Masters" and serves as InStyle's social media host. She's collaborated with major brands like Paramount, Netflix, Focus Features, Hulu, Peacock, ABC and DirecTV, Governors Ball, and Coachella. In 2021, she was nominated as a TikTok Latinx Trailblazer as part of their creator spotlight series for Hispanic Heritage Month.

    This Hispanic Heritage Month, I decided to break the fourth wall of my parasocial relationship with Tefi and give her a call. In the spirit of Small Talk, she told me about her favorite interviews, refusing to chase the storm, and her Neopets.

    Mashable: I'm very excited. I'm a fan of yours. What's one of the biggest takeaways you've had from interviewing people you're a fan of?

    I've only interviewed people whose work I'm a big fan of. It's weird because sometimes you'll be interviewing somebody, and then you'll just think like, "Oh my God, this is like literally just some dude. Like, that's crazy. Like, this is literally just some guy, that is so insane."

    SEE ALSO: Influencers aren't going anywhere. So what does that mean for today's teens?

    Keanu Reeves and Nicole Kidman were probably the people that I was like, "That's wild. That's wild that I'm doing that right now." But then I think the most fun was probably Melissa McCarthy. 

    What made it so fun?

    Because she danced with me. She's silly. I like people who are silly, you know what I mean? For the sake of being silly. She's a silly goose, and I like that she doesn't take herself too seriously. She gives a lot of mom energy, but not in a hyper-maternal way or anything like that. She's like a Disney mom in real life, and I like that.

    Even outside of interviews, you post so much. How do you choose what to post about and when to just sit it out?

    I have this rule that if I'm reading about something and I don't feel pulled to it, I'm not gonna post about it. Like Hayden Panettiere, for example. It's a horrible story about substance abuse. But if I don't feel like I want to talk about it, if I don't have anything to add to the conversation, [then] all I'm doing is adding noise. People can feel that. For people who talk about pop culture — I don't wanna call it clout chasing because that's not, but it is storm chasing. I'm gonna be fighting in the comments all day if somebody talks about her. And I'm always gonna try to come from a place of "that's so horrible that she can't be with her daughter." You have to know that, sometimes, people don't need to know where you stand on everything to want to relate to you, and I think people can immediately tell when you don't wanna talk about something. The vibe is just off. 

    A lot of people ask me, "You never talk about Britney, even though you say that you love her." I don't talk about Britney because she said that she hates it. I don't want to talk about Britney. I feel like Britney talks about Britney more than I ever could. She's honest, and we're getting news from the source. So I don't feel like I have anything to add. 

    Have you ever broken that rule?

    Of course I have. That's how I learned that rule. When I had my YouTube show, I really wanted to get people's attention. So I was looking at what people were talking about in the news all the time. And some of those things were just things that I just didn't care about. 

    I live life on the edge, and I'm gonna tell you why: I like Cardi and I like Nicki. OK? I like both. And when they fight online, I get the DMs, I get the comments like, "Are you gonna talk about this?" No, I have to protect myself from you animals. There are some things that I do because I don't think I can add anything... And then there are also times for self-preservation. 

    Is there anything you want to talk about that you can't?

    I'm trying to find more ways where I can talk about Iran, where I won't get shadow banned. I know that a lot of it is violent, but I think it's important. But that's hard to show on TikTok because the community guidelines really will get you. And it's my largest platform. 

    I was talking to my mom about it last night, how I posted something about BLM(Opens in a new tab) and I always get these death threats… I was talking to my mom about how it still scares me and my mom's like, "Well, why don't you just only talk about pop culture?" And I'm like, "This is pop culture." The political climate is part of pop culture. And if I don't talk about things that are important, then this platform is useless.

    You show a lot of different dimensions of yourself online, but I can see that being difficult. What kind of boundaries do you set?

    I've chosen to be very, very vulnerable about certain things and not talk about other things at all. I've gone through horrible heartbreak and friend breakups and fights with my family while I had TikTok, and I haven't talked about it because those things are private. However, I am in denial that people see my videos. What I didn't realize is when people don't know anything about your personal life, but they want to feel like they know you, people will legitimately just make things up. And that's the worst part.

    When you first read those things your knee-jerk reaction is to create an account, find a profile, scroll, find the comment, reply, and say, "Cynthia, you're out of your mind. You're crazy." But that's never going to do anything. You're just going to feed the fire. You're just going to give people more material, and that's just going to keep happening as you accomplish things that you want to accomplish, especially if they're going to be public things. So I have to come to terms with the fact that I have to let people talk about me. And I haven't let anybody talk about me my whole life. 

    It sounds like you're trying to set up these boundaries, but you actually don't have control over if those boundaries are followed by other people. 

    Yeah. And then also you have to deal with, like, if you talk about it, people run to go find what you're talking about. So I think the best thing to do is to just be as ignorant as possible when it comes to social media. Not with world news. Not with what people are going through, what's happening in the world today, with your family, with your friends, with trends, with fashion, with any kind of culture. But with social media, I really think the key to being successful once you have a platform is to be as ignorant as possible. I think that's the only way to do it, to continue to be real and vulnerable.

    You almost have to put up blinders to simply exist online, but part of your job requires some real consistency and engagement. How do you stay working when you just don't want to anymore?

    There are people in the world that know that they want to tell stories, and I want to tell stories. That's just something that I've always done, and it comes naturally to me. It would be like holding in my poop. I have to do it. It would be like holding my breath. But maybe in order to stay soft, I have to read comments less or not at all. And I'm OK with that. Some of my friends have 10 million followers, and I don't know how they do it. I'm on people's "friends only" and there are so many creators that are so popular that are crying all the time, and they're like, "I can't do this anymore." And I have absolutely done that, where I'm just like, "I'm giving it up. I'm done. I'm not going to do this anymore." That lasts six days and then I'm like, "OK, so anyway, where were we?"

    When you're in those six days, where do you go? What's your dream escape career?

    I always say, Britney Spears would be such a good cheerleading coach. I think my escape career would be, and I'm gonna be honest with you, I would raise the hell out of some alpacas. I would raise goats, and I would love to have an animal sanctuary where no cow would ever have to worry about being slaughtered. 

    That's what I would do. I really enjoy caring for other people. I like rehabilitating people in any way that I can, if that makes sense. Like, if you're going through heartbreak, I come over with the pizza and the ice cream and the soup and the dumplings because I didn't know what you wanted. We watch a movie, and it has to be like a horrible, horrible, excellent Lifetime movie. And that is a real type: a horrible, horrible, excellent Lifetime movie or Hallmark movie, that is a type of movie. Those things are fantastic, and I think I can take it. I can absorb when people need a shoulder. 

    You've spoken a bit before about people not feeling Latina enough. What keeps you grounded in your culture?

    What keeps me grounded is talking to people who love me. It's not people who want to please me, it's people who really love me. You hear about these careers that never even started because of mismanagement and being sold snake oil. Or you hear about these mega celebrities who are surrounded by yes men, like Elvis for example. It was not in their benefit. It was not in their team's benefit for someone to stop or to be aware of their surroundings. So I like to talk to my mom a lot. And my mom is someone who I'll be talking about something so painful, and in the middle she'll start laughing and she'll be like, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. OK. I'm back. I'm back." And it's just like, girl.

    I will say I am losing a lot of friends, and I never thought that would happen. I am going through a lot of friendship breakups, and I know it's for the best. Maybe I held onto them for a long time because I knew that they weren't going to be around for a long time. I guess in your gut, you always know when a friendship ends. No one's really ever truly surprised. You kind of knew, right? But I think the friends that I have that I'm still close to are definitely people who are like, "You just made that up," or like, "I think you're being too hard on yourself," or "No, I do not think you should call him," or "I know that your event is at 10, I'm gonna be there at 11 because that's the best I can do." [They are] people who are just honest about what they can bring to the table, and I'm really, really grateful. So that's what I think is important. They don't have to be Latinos, either. It can just be people who don't ask you to be more.

    Those friendship breakups can make you feel really lonely. How do you fight against feeling like you need to replace friendships you've lost?

    I'm way too tired to make new friends like that. I do not have time. All the new friends that I have are like a year old. So all my new friends are social media friends, where we met, we liked what we were saying, and we met in real life. Those friendships are relatively new, but I'm not going to have any more childhood friendships, and that's really hard. I'm not gonna have teenage sleepovers anymore. The sleepovers that I have are with people who are my age, and usually if I'm having sleepovers with somebody I know them very well. I'm not gonna have sleepovers with new friends that I'm making right now. It's hard to accept that my circle is getting smaller. However, and maybe this is why I'm tired, but I always try. 

    I'm really trying to do the best I can with everything that I do. Am I the neatest person? Absolutely not. Do I go to the gym three to four times a week like [Anthony] Fauci wants us to? No, I don't. But when it comes to the way that I treat people, I really do try my best, and sometimes I've got nothing left and I'm trying to show myself grace about that too.

    But with these friendships, I truly feel like I have peace because I can look at that friendship and be like, I was a good friend to you. I know that I was right. And you got greedy or you got spiteful. I mean, I'm making this up — like I'm just creating reasons why friendships end, not necessarily mine, or there was distance or we don't have anything in common anymore, or you changed or I changed. Like whatever it is, when it's all done and I've moved on in my mind, the last thing I tell myself is, "OK, you learned something from this, you did the best you could." 

    What was the first website you were obsessed with? Were you a Neopets kid?

    How did you know? How did you say Neopets? Oh my God, yes. Of course. I had a slam jam, flop jam. I was obsessed with that marketplace, and my baby had to have the best of everything.

    Do you remember the name of any of your pets?

    Yes, of course. Britney Spears. One was named O-Town. One was named... I can't remember if it was Arthur or Franklin, but that's where I was going. There was Manny from Degrassi

    In a way, I feel like I'm taking care of people who helped me realize things about myself through media and pop culture and maybe through Neopets, I was doing that in a more literal way. Which is weird to think about.

    Have you checked in on them lately?

    They're dead.

    They're so hungry.

    They're skeletons.

  • Being bisexual can impact your mental health. Heres what you can do about it.

    Being bisexual can impact your mental health. Heres what you can do about it.

    "I’ve never said this to anybody," a bisexual person who requested anonymity confessed in my Twitter DMs. "I’m so sorry if it sounds like a drama."


    It didn't sound like a drama at all — not to me, at least. This person, who reached out to me after a call-out I tweeted(Opens in a new tab) for this story, said it was difficult to accept her bisexuality. She began questioning whether she liked women at age 11, but went to great lengths to hide this attraction from her parents. That's when her anxiety began; it only heightened as she matured, which led to weight loss.

    She continued to suppress her attraction to women, even undergoing plastic surgery to appear more desirable to men. "Proving I didn’t like women was something that really hurt me," she said. She tried to deny her own bisexuality because she was never in love with a woman, "but then when I fell for one I knew — as always — I wasn't straight… In my heart I always knew I was bisexual."

    This inner tug of war is one I know personally, and one some of the other bisexual people I spoke to experienced as well. The anxiety and other mental health impacts bisexuals face is evident in data, too.

    According to a 2011 report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), bisexual people have a greater likelihood of depression(Opens in a new tab), anxiety, and other mood disorders. More recent data supports these figures, as well. The Journal of Affective Disorders published a paper that concluded that "Bisexual individuals are at greater risk of poor mental health than lesbians and gay men"(Opens in a new tab) in Jan. 2020.

    In a factsheet on mental health of bisexual populations(Opens in a new tab) released at the beginning of this year, the American Psychiatric Association explained that bisexuals report increased experience of depression or suicide in comparison to monosexuals (hetero or homosexual). Substance use rates are also higher. In August, the University of Manchester released a study that claimed bisexual people are six times more likely to self-harm(Opens in a new tab) than people of other orientations.

    Multiple bisexual people I spoke to mentioned anxiety and depression, and two mentioned suicidal ideation. "I've contemplated death before because I truly felt like I was broken," one said. What is it about being bisexual that impacts mental health — and what can we do about it?

    The data doesn't always capture the true picture

    These statistics are alarming, but could be at least partially explained by the way research is conducted on bisexual people. It comes down to the difficulty researchers have correctly identifying the population they're trying to study, and with an indeterminate group like bisexuals, that's easier said than done.

    Dr. Geoffrey Ream, an associate professor at Adelphi University’s School of Social Work who has conducted research on suicide rates of LGBTQ youth populations(Opens in a new tab), explained to Mashable that researchers decide to code subjects as bisexual using various methods. The HRC data, for example, deals with people who self-identified as bisexual. But other studies code people based on how they answer questions about behavior and attraction — say, whether they've had sex with members of their or other genders.

    Dr. Sarah Noble, author of the APA's factsheet, told Mashable that research on bisexuality is difficult to capture in general. "The thing about sexuality is that there is fantasy and attraction, there's sexual behavior, and there's sexual identity," said Dr. Noble. "Demarcating those different aspects of sexuality is often complicated and not necessarily perfectly identified for every study." Thus, each study isn't comparable, according to Noble.

    So while the coding issues can certainly lead to self-identified bisexual people and "coded" bisexual people being lumped together, this is ultimately okay. "You're always working with imperfect data," Ream said. He quoted his PhD advisor Ritch Savin-Williams, who specializes in LGBTQ research: "Something Ritch always told me is that you can never get a representative sample of a stigmatized and invisible population." Therefore, you combine different sources. Ream continued, "So you take a bunch of different data sources and triangulate. Or quadrangulate. Quintangulate, even."

    bisexuality mental illness Credit: bob al-greene / mashable

    Recruiting can also be a roadblock

    Sarah Jen, assistant professor in the school of social welfare at the University of Kansas, agreed with Ream about the imperfect nature of the data. Jen, who worked on the Aging With Pride(Opens in a new tab) study, the largest study of LGBTQ midlife and older adults in the U.S., told Mashable it's why we need more bisexual-specific research. "Recruitment methods that we use for LGBTQ communities broadly aren't as generalizable and aren't as reflective of the full diversity of the bisexual population," she said.

    Jen also pointed out that non-monosexual people are more likely to use multiple terms to identify themselves, such as queer, pansexual, and omnisexual. This further impacts bisexual representation in research.

    Another factor is that many studies on queer people use LGBTQ community organizations to help with recruitment. "Bisexual people have historically and continue to say that they don't feel as welcome and they don't feel as much of a sense of belonging in those spaces," said Jen, "because they've faced bi negativity or biphobia…and they don't feel like that space is for them."

    The result, Jen argued, is that researchers are missing a large swath of people who not only identify as various non-monosexual terms, but also those people who don't identify as any of those but still exhibit "bisexual behaviors" (i.e., having sex or dating people of both their and other genders), histories, and romantic relationships throughout their lives.

    "It's really hard to recruit people that way," Jen said. "How do you write a recruitment statement that says, 'Have you ever done all of these things?'"

    While bisexual people are the largest self-identified group within the LGBTQ community, the proportion of bisexual-focused research is small(Opens in a new tab). Ream said this conglomeration of bisexual data results in skewed mental health research. Jen argued that, if anything, we're not getting the full picture.

    Although bisexual data is imperfect, as Ream reiterated, researchers are always working with imperfect data when it comes to sexual orientation. This doesn't invalidate the studies done on the bisexual population; if anything, it's proof that more bisexual-focused research needs to be done. For now, the data and resulting statistics — worrisome ones at that — are all we have.

    The unique, but shared, mental health experiences of being bi

    Regardless of how complicated it is to gather "true" data on the bisexual population, it's clear that bisexual mental health is distinct from that of monosexuals.

    Minority stress theory(Opens in a new tab), developed by Ilan H. Meyer, can contribute to this. The theory states that instances of social stigmatization don't directly lead to mental health problems. Rather, these instances result in stress for the minority, and this stress accumulates over time. This accumulation can lead to long-term mental health concerns. (As one can imagine, this theory extends to other minority groups as well.)

    Minority stress stems out into external stress (distal) and internal stress (proximal). An example of distal stress is a bisexual person being told they're lying, or that their sexuality doesn't exist. An example of proximal stress is internalized biphobia, or not even coming out at all for fear of backlash.

    "Minority stress falls very hard on bisexual folks," said Noble. Tricia, a bisexual grad student I spoke to for this piece, said she's felt weighed down by internalized biphobia, and biphobia in general.

    Biphobia, bi-erasure, and monosexism — the belief that people can only be straight or gay — exist in both the straight and LGBTQ communities. As I discussed in my piece on feeling "queer enough" earlier this year, bisexuals may not feel at home in either because of these factors. "Part of identity development is finding your people, and that's particularly difficult for bisexuals," said Ream.

    Tricia said she feels like an invalid member of the LGBTQ community. Recognizing her privilege as someone white, cis, and in her words "extremely straight passing," she's been reluctant to make space for herself. "I’ve found that in my efforts to make space for and pass the mic to members of the LGBTQ community whose sexualities overlap less with heterosexuality than mine does, I don’t make any space for myself at all," she said. "And that constant self-invalidation really takes a toll on me."

    "Minority stress falls very hard on bisexual folks."

    Another bisexual woman, Julia, feels similarly. "Because I’m femme, I’ve been lucky to not stand out and get bullied or harassed," she said. "But I feel like I don’t deserve to be in queer spaces or even call myself bi." Some members of her family have also accused her of "faking" her bisexuality.

    Our culture struggles with things that don't fit into neat boxes, according to Noble. "We as a culture have come to accept homosexuality," she said, as it is a "box" that is the opposite of heterosexuality. Bisexual people — as well as those who don't fit into the gender binary like nonbinary and trans people — don't fit into these boxes society has constructed.

    Society's black-and-white thinking impacts stigma against bisexuals, who occupy the gray area, Jen said, and also people's ability to understand the bisexual experience.

    "It leads to some sense of othering," she said. "We can't understand an identity [so we think] we shouldn't adhere [to] it…when it doesn't fit into our cleanly-cut categories, we don't know how to make sense of it."

    Jordyn, another bisexual I spoke to, said that people told her her sexuality was "wrong" and "didn't work like that." When Jordyn confided in some straight female friends, they stopped talking to her. "They were scared I would try to hook up with them," Jordyn told me. "Some even started spreading rumors about me trying to kiss them or claiming I confessed my feelings to them (which never happened)."

    Jordyn fell into a depression and had anxiety attacks whenever someone questioned her sexuality or tried to discuss it with her.

    When Jen herself came out as bi in college and started to find a queer community, she remembers being told that bisexuals were "doing fine" due to factors like passing privilege, the ability for some bisexuals to "pass" as straight in everyday life and thus avoid discrimination people who "look queer" face. "What we end up finding through Aging With Pride was just the opposite," she said. "Some of our bisexual participants reported more mental health concerns than the lesbian-identified and gay-identified participants we were talking to."

    It doesn't help matters that there's been a debate about whether bisexuality exists within the scientific community itself. Until recently, according to Ream, medical sexologists couldn't observe bisexual arousal in a lab and thus argued it doesn't exist. That is, until last month when scientific journal PNAS published "Robust evidence for bisexual orientation among men"(Opens in a new tab) which shows — surprise! — that bisexual arousal, particularly in men in this study's case, does exist.

    "Took you long enough," Ream joked.

    Unfortunately, however, scientific proof doesn't erase the stigma against bisexual people. Jen pointed out that bisexual people experience both invisibility and hypervisibility, which she defined as negative depictions of bisexuality like hypersexualization.

    Jordyn experienced hypersexualization by way of her ex-boyfriend, who called her a slut when she tried to explain her bisexuality. "[He] said I only enjoyed being with women because I am trying to impress more men," she said.

    Ashley, another bisexual woman I spoke to, also experienced this. "I felt fetishized by my cishet ex who I began dating during a depressive episode sophomore year of college," she told me. This came after her first bout of depression her freshman year, when her former abuser threatened to out her. Because of experiences like this as well as her biphobic/homophobic family, Ashley kept her bisexuality a secret until this January; she's still not out to her family.

    The need for bi spaces and positive framing

    "I believe it’s important to note that my depression exists outside of my sexuality," Ashley said. "However, it is at times worsened by the difficulty I’ve had navigating life as a bisexual person and as part of a greater community at large."

    Despite it being 2020 — and despite bisexuals being a large portion of the LGBTQ population — biphobia exists even in the "woke" corners of the internet. Last month, for instance, a now-deleted viral tweet stated, "I understand the argument against biphobia, but I also understand the argument for lesbians not wanting to date bisexual women. Man Residue™ is a real thing that affects the relationships of all women who deal with men romantically."

    man residue tweet Credit: thotscholar on twitter

    In addition to biphobia, this tweet displays transphobia(Opens in a new tab) (some trans men identify as lesbians(Opens in a new tab)); trans misogyny(Opens in a new tab) (the specific hatred of trans women) if "Man Residue™" refers to sperm and a woman has a dick; and ignorance of compulsory heterosexuality(Opens in a new tab), the assumption that women are attracted to men due to society's push of heterosexuality (so some lesbians may have sex with men before figuring out they're lesbians). The user acknowledged their biphobia and continued to be biphobic. This tweet encapsulates some of the othering bisexuals experience in the queer community, as if bisexual women are somehow tainted by their experiences with cismen.

    "I hate the idea of being considered a queer tragedy because my life has been full of joy that I’m lucky to have experienced," Ashley said. "I don’t think my sexuality makes me tragic, but I do think it’s tragic that I'm not alone in struggling with how it impacts my mental health, or lack thereof, and how I simultaneously don’t receive the care or support I deserve in order to healthily cope."

    Resources for handling bisexual minority stress

    So how can bisexual people cope with minority stress, with either external or internal cries that their sexuality is wrong, or that it doesn't even exist?

    For Bisexual Awareness Week 2020, The Trevor Project released a guide on How to Support Bisexual Youth(Opens in a new tab). The guide not only breaks down bisexuality and biphobia, but also offers ways to support and celebrate one's bisexuality — which, in my opinion, is useful for anyone, young or not.

    All my expert sources recommended that bi people find their own community, their own space, their own people. During the pandemic, making friends online can arguably be smoother than ever. If you don't know where to start, VICE made a helpful guide on how to make more LGBTQ friends(Opens in a new tab).

    While this may run the risk of being a negative experience — as seen above, biphobia does exist within the online queer community — you can focus on, say, the "#bisexual" TikTok tag, or peruse through Twitter trends like #beautifullybisexual that highlight bisexual people specifically.

    "I don’t think my sexuality makes me tragic, but I do think it’s tragic that I'm not alone in struggling with how it impacts my mental health."

    What's more is that bisexual people can have a meaningful role in the broader queer community, according to Jen. Focusing on our commonalities with other queer people, regardless of orientation or expression, can lead to community building. Further, those who have access to passing privilege can act as allies and advocates to queer people who don't, Jen said.

    The knowledge that you're not alone anecdotally — in my and others' experiences, that is — can be not only reassuring, but freeing as well. An anonymous bisexual said it was a cathartic experience when they spoke to queer friends they made through the Doctor Who fandom on Tumblr.

    Jordyn told me that before she graduated college, she met a girl who was struggling in the same way she was. "It was in that moment I realized I was not alone," she said. "We helped each other find our way and understand that there's a whole world of people out there struggling to understand and find acceptance for their sexuality."

    While Jordyn hasn't fully come out yet, she's no longer ashamed of who she is. She said, "I've surrounded myself with people who love and accept me for me, and I'm so grateful for that, and I hope everyone in the world struggling to find themselves understands they're not alone."

    Jen advises building a network for yourself, as one fellow bisexual may relate to certain parts of your experience but not all, and that's okay. As we were chatting on the phone, for instance, Jen said we both can relate and talk about passing privilege — but as she's married and I'm single, we don't relate on that level.

    Jen also said there are ways bisexual people can positively internally process their identity. When she performed a study on older bisexual women in 2018(Opens in a new tab), she observed that they described their identities negatively. Their bisexuality created a division; it made their lives more challenging, especially relating to lesbians — it was like a political and emotional divide they couldn't cross.

    But when they perceived bisexuality as a life, as a way of living — not just an identity — it was seen positively. "It allowed for capacity, openness, fluidity," Jen said. The word that came up most often was freedom.

    Internalized biphobia (or queerphobia or homophobia), like any ingrained belief, takes time to unlearn — but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Jen suggests positive reframing, as these subjects reframed their bisexuality. You can do this yourself(Opens in a new tab), or seek guidance of a queer-affirming therapist(Opens in a new tab) if you have access to one.

    "It allowed for the freedom of a non-traditional life," Jen said. "And I think whenever we come against identities where there isn't a script for how to be, there isn't a way laid out for us, that actually gives us a lot of potential to lay our own path."

    This isn't to say positive reframing is a sudden cure-all for anxiety and depression, or that bisexual people going through mental health struggles shouldn't seek help. But, like community building, reframing is a step bisexual people can take to affirm themselves, to see their sexuality as something other than an affliction."

    "Folks could see [bisexuality] as a freedom, as a capacity that they have," said Jen. "One woman actually described it as a superpower that most people didn't have, but that she had, to see the world in a more open way."

    If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line(Opens in a new tab) at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(Opens in a new tab) at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list(Opens in a new tab) is a good place to start.

  • It’s time to upgrade your tired appliances after a very long year at home

    It’s time to upgrade your tired appliances after a very long year at home

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life. If you buy something from this post, we may earn an affiliate commission.


    Let’s be real — you’ve been doing everything in the same space for over a year, and your domestic setup has seen better days. If you’re tired of sriracha stains on your sweatpants that won’t wash out and losing food inside your cluttered fridge, this sweet array of Whirlpool home appliances from Lowe’s(Opens in a new tab) will give your digs a much-needed post-pandemic makeover.

    Wash away the stains of last year

    Chances are your grungy comforter needs a deep clean, and this machine can tackle that hefty job — and go gentle on your intimates, too. This is the first washer to offer a removable agitator that you can simply pull out when you need space for bigger loads. Add in the automatic dispenser that measures out just the right amount of soap and the built-in scrub brush, and say goodbye to those hot sauce stains.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Whirlpool
    Whirlpool Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator (normally $1,249, sale $999) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Disinfect your forks and plates

    If you’ve become a bit of a germaphobe over the past year — and who hasn’t — this 24-inch dishwasher is for you. In addition to its brilliant sensor cycle that automatically picks the right cycle for your load, the sanitizing option kills 99.9% of bacteria.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Whirlpool
    Whirlpool Top Control Built-in Stainless Dishwasher (normally $699, sale $629) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    De-clutter your fridge

    If you started cooking at home more over the past year and plan on keeping the habit, you’re going to need a fridge that can organize everything. This four-door beauty has shelves, bins, and drawers that will do the trick. The fingerprint-resistant steel is pretty sweet, too.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Whirlpool
    Whirlpool 19.4-cubic-foot French Door Refrigerator with Ice Maker ($2,199) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Get an oven that stays clean

    Your oven has likely taken a hit after a year of quarantine baking, so why not invest in a shiny new one that will clean itself? This one has a smart touchscreen that remembers your crispy tots setting, and it’s WiFi- and voice-enabled so you can tell it to start baking from the sofa.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Whirlpool
    Whirlpool Smart 30-inch Self-Cleaning Single Wall Oven (normally $1,599, sale $1,439) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Kick your old-school can to the curb

    If your cleaning frenzy has you making tons of curbside trash runs, this compactor will make things easier. Just step on the pedal to open it, drop your non-recyclable garbage in there, fire up the one-third-horsepower motor, squish it all down, and repeat.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Whirlpool
    Whirlpool Gold 15-inch Stainless Steel Undercounter Trash Compactor ($1,049) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • How to connect your AirPods to a Peloton

    How to connect your AirPods to a Peloton

    If you’re lucky enough to have a Peloton bike, you know they come with all sorts of high-end frills. But what about connecting your Peloton bike to wireless headphones?


    While it’s not as easy to pair them as it would be on an Apple device (AirPods automatically pair with Apple devices when the case is opened), you can still connect your Apple AirPods to your Peloton. Here’s how:

    Making the connection

    Maybe your Peloton is set up in a community space that can get noisy, or you just want to get lost in the music. Whatever your reason, it’s easy to pair your AirPods to your Peloton and groove your way through cardio.

    According to Peloton(Opens in a new tab), you can connect in a few simple steps:

    1. Make sure your AirPods aren’t connected to any other device and that their Bluetooth option is enabled. They should be disconnected from everything, even your phone, for this to work.

    2. With the AirPods in the case and the lid open, hold the button on the back of the case until the amber light starts blinking — about three to five seconds. This will reset your AirPods, which you need to do in order for them to pair with a non-Apple device. Once they’re reset, you can put them back into pairing mode and try to pair them with your Peloton’s touchscreen.

    3. Close the lid to your AirPods case. On your Peloton’s touchscreen, you should see a list of available Bluetooth devices to pair with in the Bluetooth menu (get there by going to Settings, then Bluetooth).

    4. Find "AirPod" or the custom name you’ve given your AirPods, in the list of available Bluetooth devices and click on it. After a few seconds, you should see the status change to "paired."

    5. Go back to the Featured page by tapping on the Peloton logo in the lower center of the touchscreen.

    6. Choose a ride to test the connection and make sure your AirPods are connected and working. Adjust the volume to a good level.

    After that you should be good to go. If you’re still having trouble connecting, you can try resetting the connection and pairing your AirPods again.

    Credit: apple

    Keep in mind that since your Peloton isn’t an Apple device, you won’t be able to use features like Siri while your AirPods are paired to your bike. You will be able to listen to Peloton’s audio through your wireless headphones, though. Also, you’ll need to use the volume controls on the Peloton to change the volume in your AirPods.

    One last thing: Make sure you disconnect your AirPods when you’re finished! If someone else is using the Peloton with their AirPods and you open your AirPod case within pairing range, the Peloton will connect with your AirPods instead and kick the person on the bike off the connection.

  • Boses Sleepbuds II are for catching some Zs, not playing your music

    Boses Sleepbuds II are for catching some Zs, not playing your music

    If you've been having trouble sleeping, Bose has a $250 solution for you.


    A year after being discontinued(Opens in a new tab) for battery problems, Bose is bringing back(Opens in a new tab) its wireless Sleepbuds. These earbuds aren't meant to compete with Apple's AirPods or anything like that, though. As the name suggests, you'll wear these to bed with the goal of making you more comfortable and relaxed than you would be without them.

    The Sleepbuds II, which launch on Oct. 6 for $250, aren't like other earbuds on the market — you can't just connect them to your phone and listen to whatever you want. Bose has a bunch of other wireless earbuds(Opens in a new tab) for that. Instead, the buds connect to a special mobile app with 35 free tracks that will presumably drown out the world around you and quiet your mind so you can get to sleep. Ideally, you'll put these on, boot up one of the tracks, and fall asleep without the din of noise you might typically deal with.

    Bose made a point to note that the Sleepbuds II don't feature active noise cancellation and, instead, rely on a collection of soothing tracks to cover up the noise around you while physical seals on the earbuds theoretically keep some sound out. If Bose's audio tracks don't get repetitive and the battery holds up, the Sleepbuds II could help negate the snoring that keeps you up at night.

    Lastly, Bose says the new Sleepbuds II can last 10 hours on a single charge. Significant battery problems hampered the first Sleepbuds last year, so this battery improvement will be something to watch for in the new model.

    Sure, two and a half Benjamins for earbuds that have no use outside the bedroom sounds like a lot, but everyone's gotta sleep.

  • Amazon to classify pelvic medical devices as sex toys, for some reason

    Amazon to classify pelvic medical devices as sex toys, for some reason

    Amazon will begin labeling some medical devices like pelvic floor wands as "sex toys" and "adult content" on Nov. 15, according to a message sent to sellers.


    These products — wands, kegel weights, and more — are used by pelvic pain patients in order to feel some symptom relief. Like foam rollers, they're basically physical therapy tools. Yet, by marking them as sex toys, they'll only be searchable on Amazon within the adult content section.

    "The upcoming changes in Amazon's classification of medical tools as adult products is harmful to consumers," said Amanda Olson, founder of pelvic health brand Intimate Rose(Opens in a new tab).

    "Forcing people with sensitive pelvic health issues to scroll and search through provocative adult images of other products [is] damaging and will create a barrier to their access to important healthcare tools."

    SEE ALSO: Why is TikTok removing sex ed videos?

    Olson said she's tried to urge Amazon not to classify FDA-cleared devices as sex toys, but hasn't been able to reach them. She started a petition to reverse Amazon's decision(Opens in a new tab), which has over 8,000 signatures at the time of publication.

    The petition states that one in three may suffer from pelvic pain, but some estimates say one in two — and that includes all people, no matter their anatomy. Pelvic pain is extremely common, but given that it's not often discussed, patients may not know where to turn for help.

    Olson fears that people who'd benefit from these products won't find them due to this change. She also worries that patients with a history of trauma will have to navigate graphic sex toy images in order to find therapeutic tools.

    "We deserve the right to safely and conveniently locate medical devices without unnecessary exposure to sexually explicit products," she wrote on the petition. "By grouping pelvic wands and kegel weights into the same category as sex toys, Amazon has taken a stand against the health of people with vaginas."

    Amazon hasn't responded to Mashable's request for comment, but given that there's two weeks until this categorization goes into effect, there's still time to stop it.