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If Mastodon wants to replace Twitter, well have to ruin it first

2023-03-19 06:21:28

If Mastodon wants to replace Twitter, well have to ruin it first

Existing happily on Mastodon — Twitter's latest rival — requires amnesia. It's only enjoyable if you've forgotten the rise or slow, stuttering fall of every other social media platform in the last few decades.

If Mastodon wants to replace Twitter, well have to ruin it first(图1)

This is how it feels in the early days of a new social media site (save for something directly out of dystopian nightmares like Truth Social). It's fun, in part because it's new, but largely because the stakes are so low. 

We used to sign up for these platforms to "have fun and be ridiculous and post stuff for what you probably understood to be a limited audience," Aimée Morrison, an associate professor in the department of English language and literature at the University of Waterloo, told Mashable in a previous article. Our friends saw our posts, but that was about it. We tweeted about what we ate for lunch, and made photo albums for a single night out on Facebook, and we never got too much attention. 

"The content was abundant, but the audience was not abundant. You imagined that nobody was interested," Morrison said. Social media has gotten a lot more noxious since then. Now you're one Google search away from being fired from your teaching job for posting a picture of yourself drinking alcohol, one post away from forever having to relive what you thought was funny at 13 years old, or even one TikTok away from fame.

SEE ALSO: Is Mastodon the emerging alternative to Twitter?

That isn't the problem Mastodon has, in part because of its inherent newness. But this isn't to say Mastodon is brand new. It launched in 2016, but didn't boost to its current 1 million users(Opens in a new tab) until November 2022, when Elon Musk bought Twitter and started his chaotic reign as CEO. The day Musk took over as "Chief Twit," Mastodon gained 70,000 new users.

On Mastodon, there are so few people on the app in comparison to its competitors, and you can't see just anyone's post. You can only see people you're following — and the accounts they boost — or people who are members of your server. So the chances of going viral and blowing up your life are limited.

"Going viral means validation, usually, and validation for who we are and what we do is a natural human need," Dr. Courtney Tracy, an addiction specialist also known as The Truth Doctor on TikTok and Instagram, told Mashable in a previous article. "Because virality usually lasts for longer than the basic length of a normal 'like' experience on any given day, it’s sort of like a long party in your mind. Instead of one good song and a drink, for example, it’s like an all-night concert with an open bar and great drinks that we can’t get enough of."

The desire for that ego boost can change your behavior, making you want to post what your audience is most likely to like or share — with potentially catastrophic results. "The result is to want to achieve the highest number of likes possible, which sometimes translates into ever more extreme posts or posts that play fast and loose with the truth," Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, a Stanford professor of clinical psychiatry and the author of Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality, previously told Mashable. "This has played a role in the radicalizing of the internet and society, as well as the emergence of post-truth culture."

This is what the homepage looks like. Credit: Mastodon
A look at your profile page. Credit: Mastodon

Maybe Mastodon can save itself from the failures that have weighed literally every single other social media network down. Capitalism killed MySpace and Twitter and turned Facebook and Instagram into monsters in which anxiety runs in parallel with posting, and now TikTok has become a destination for misinformation. However, Mastodon has been built to counter those exact pitfalls. 

Mastodon is a nonprofit, open-source project, unlike all other big social media sites. So, ideally, it's made to benefit the public instead of shareholders. The platform can never be sold, which is supposed to give more power to its users — and notably less powers to billionaires. Unlike Twitter, you use a timeline of "toots" instead of tweets, which can be liked, bookmarked, or "boosted" instead of retweeted. 

Its form is closer to that of Discord, which is not all that fun without community — and your community might already be built on Twitter.

But that's one of the challenges of Mastodon, too. It's not nearly as easy to use as Twitter. You have to join certain servers, which can be confusing at first. Twitter's interface makes linking out to articles and other content really user friendly, but on Mastodon, everything just shows up as ugly links. Its form is closer to that of Discord, which is not all that fun without community — and your community might already be built on Twitter.

Instead of existing in the same space as everyone else online, Mastodon doesn't live in one communal space. As my colleague Meera Navlakha explained, "Mastodon is decentralized; the platform has a network of servers which are called 'instances.' Users who sign up to the app will be asked to choose a server straightaway, deciding by searching through topics and languages. There are categories like Technology, Music, Gaming, Art and Activism. Servers range from in a new tab), which is self explanatory, and in a new tab), a community for tech workers 'who are LGBTQIA+ or allies.'"

All that work makes it less user friendly and significantly less addictive. There's already a community on Twitter — there are, quite literally, millions more daily active users on it — and there's an algorithm that makes you want to scroll. I found myself logging onto Mastodon, chatting with folks, and closing the app. I wasn't called into a doomscrolling spiral. I wasn't eagerly anticipating the engagement. That's lovely; it also means I won't be using it nearly as much as I used Twitter. If Mastodon wants to replace Twitter, we have to ruin it first.

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    Snap says its intention isn't to drive Headspace Minis users to the Headspace app, or to become Headspace subscribers. It is not focused on monetization, yet.

    Another benefit for both companies? The publicity halo that comes from a mental health program targeted at young people during a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety.

    You can view Headspace Minis as a savvy business move, a beneficial new product for teens who may be having a hard time, or maybe a little bit of both. No matter the purpose, making the ability to take deep breaths and sit with your feelings more accessible, and less scary for people who might really need it, is a win.

  • Give your sweats a rest and score 20% off Indochino suits

    Give your sweats a rest and score 20% off Indochino suits

    TL;DR: Score 20 percent off sharp looking suits, shirts, and chinos at Indochino(Opens in a new tab) with code PREM20 through July 27.


    While many of us lucky enough to work from home are perfectly content firing emails from the couch all day with our dogs on our laps, let’s face it: working solo and in grungy sweats is getting old. Remember when you used to shower, shave, and dress up for work? What a concept. 

    Whenever this WFH spout finally does end — and it will — you want to be ready. 

    Indochino(Opens in a new tab) is having a sale to help you upgrade your work wardrobe before the big back-to-the-office rush hits. Right now, you can get 20% off their Premium suits, shirts, and chinos(Opens in a new tab) with code PREM20. 

    We realize that personal style is, well, personal, but Indochino is doing something that’s worth talking about. First off, Indochino(Opens in a new tab) makes very sharp suits that are decently priced, even before this 20% off sale. 

    Secondly, unlike the fast fashion items you might have grabbed off the rack on your lunch hour back in the day, Indochino uses technology to custom-make each piece to fit you. Just find something you like — we’re partial to the Hemsworth suit(Opens in a new tab) — and enter your measurements, fabric choice, lining color, etc. The site uses an algorithm along with your height and weight to help you hone in on the most flattering fit. Next, Indochino uses state-of–the-art digital technology to cut the fabric precisely for your body. I

    Indochino is serious about the fit of their shirts and chinos, too. Like their suits, they’re fully customizable. Add snappy gingham to the collar of their anti-wrinkle dress shirts or, better yet, get your initials monogrammed on the front. The cotton chinos can be customized with extra-wide side pockets (ideal if you have a big phone) and utilitarian-style back-flap pockets. 

    If all this fresh-dressed talk doesn’t make you pine for the office just yet — that’s okay, too. When you do finally go back, just go big. And remember to lint roll the dog hair off your pants before you head out the door.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Indochino
    Take 20% off Indochino suits, shirts, and chinos with code PREM20 through July 27 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Random articles


  • Bet on 2024 candidates now by buying shares to campaign urls

    Bet on 2024 candidates now by buying shares to campaign urls

    Inauguration is over and done with and the 2020 election is finally behind us. You know what that means: Time to think about 2024!


    MSCHF, the group behind offbeat projects like Walt's Kitchen and "killing brands" on TikTok, had this forethought when they created In The Year 2024(Opens in a new tab). They bought plenty of potential candidate domain names — such as (for Kanye West) and (pretty obvious) — and are now "holding them for ransom."

    What does this mean? MSCHF is domain squatting, or buying urls in the hopes of flipping them for more money. MSCHF broke the urls into 100 shares, which are available for purchase for one dollar each.

    If you buy shares for a url and MSCHF later sells it, you'll get a cut of the profit. The idea is that the urls for various politicians and celebrities will be so valuable that the campaigns will buy them in the future and you, having made this investment now, will benefit.

    Credit: mschf

    In the Year 2024's manifesto(Opens in a new tab) declares that politicians often run for their own self-interest or a corporation's self interest while they tout being "for the people." MSCHF believes this move can force them to actually be for the people. "Let us collectively hold hostage those assets a campaign needs," the manifesto states, "and force a prospective candidate to pay ransom back to the crowd before commencing their voyage of public aggrandizement."

    The manifesto goes on to reiterate that some people think betting markets are better election predictors than polls(Opens in a new tab). In reality, both bookies and polls can influence how people vote. MSCHF wants to take this influence to another level with In the Year 2024. "By betting on an asset a candidate will be forced to buy back," they state in the manifesto, "these bets will interface with campaigns directly."

    As of now, we don't know if The Rock or Oprah or Trump Jr. will run in 2024 — but if we're lucky, we can make some money on our predictions. We just have to wait a few years.

    UPDATE: Jan. 25, 2021, 4:57 p.m. EST An earlier version of this story reported that MSCHF broke each url into 1,000 shares instead of 100.

  • The 12 best tweets of the week, including Beethoven, dry ribs, and Batman

    The 12 best tweets of the week, including Beethoven, dry ribs, and Batman

    Good tweets: You want 'em. And guess what? We got 'em.


    It's been a long week for you, I'm sure. What kind of week is short? I'd like to see it.

    Anyway, we collected some funny tweets that will hopefully gift you with a chuckle as the weekend arrives.

    So, here they are, our 12 favorite tweets of the week.

    1. The Too Online surely understanding this joke

    2. Just make it normal screen size, thx

    3. This is how I live my life and do my job

    4. A beautiful feeling

    5. Give it a rest, Ted

    6. Hate it when this happens

    7. But in the air, yes

    8. Somehow, I agree with this statement

    9. You have to understand both the NBA and the show I Think You Should Leave to get this joke but I don't care, I'm including it because it's just too good

    10. Obligatory dril tweet

    11. Look out, new Ludwig van Beethoven banger just dropped

    12. And finally, some good slander of these dry as hell ribs

  • Jackie Weaver, hero of chaotic viral council Zoom meeting, did not have the authority after all

    Jackie Weaver, hero of chaotic viral council Zoom meeting, did not have the authority after all

    Jackie Weaver is a name you won't forget in a hurry.


    In Feb. 2021, a video of a chaotic Zoom parish council meeting burst into our lives and found viral fame online.

    If you somehow managed to miss this sparkling nugget of internet gold, then you can recap the Zoom meeting at your leisure.

    SEE ALSO: Zoom council meeting takes an incredibly chaotic turn, sparks memes

    A video of the video meeting between Handforth Parish Council's Planning and Environment Committee in Wilmslow, Cheshire, clocked up 5.8 million views and was basically an edge-of-your-seat drama-fest from start to finish. To summarise, Weaver attempted to deal with disruptive parish councillors by muting them and ejecting them from the meeting into the Zoom waiting room.

    "You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver," was one of the lines that proved particularly popular from the viral video. And, in a bizarre twist of fate, it turns out Weaver did not actually have the authority, according to a report(Opens in a new tab).

    An investigation into the disorderly conduct has culminated in six (yes, six!) reports being published by Cheshire East Council on the councillors' behaviour in the infamous Zoom call.

    A 145-page report determined that Weaver "was not acting in an official capacity at these meetings" but added as a caveat that Weaver felt her actions were necessary given the behaviour being displayed by a number of councillors. The reports also noted that it understood why Weaver acted as she did.

    In a statement to the BBC, Weaver said(Opens in a new tab) she welcomed the findings of the report but was "deeply saddened that it took so long and cost so much to get there." It was reported(Opens in a new tab) recently that the investigation cost over £85,000.

    Weaver added: "We were still very vague about how virtual council meetings worked and I did not actually remove them from the meeting, in my opinion, I moved them to the waiting room."

    "A little later in the meeting the remaining councillors voted to remove them," she concluded.

    Despite the reports stating that several current and former councillors to be in breach of the council's code of conduct, there have been no formal findings made against any individual.

    Per the BBC(Opens in a new tab), some former council members have rejected the findings of the report and do not accept that they were in breach of the rules. "In terms of the findings of the reports, we wholly refute the findings and view them as being extreme fiction. The investigations were in our opinion conducted with more than an air of mendacity," they said.

    An unsurprising response, perhaps, given what we witnessed in the video.

    "Read the standing orders. Read them and understand them!"

  • Apple just became more of a California cult than ever

    Apple just became more of a California cult than ever

    It's been a tough year for committed Californians. Amidst a weirdly undemocratic gubernatorial recall effort(Opens in a new tab), as smoke spewed from mega-fires, as our friends, choked out or priced out, headed for the exits, loudly proclaiming they'd never liked the place anyway, Golden State residents could be forgiven for wondering whether to abandon their own 1960s-style California dreamin'. It's 2021, isn't the West Coast over yet?


    They'd also be forgiven for punching the air at the outset of Apple's iPhone 13 launch event. The tech/entertainment giant screened a banging cover of "California Soul,"(Opens in a new tab) a 1969 hit for jazz legend Marlena Shaw, with a diverse group of musicians amidst the state's beauty spots (pink-dreadlocked violinist in the Mojave, singer in Muir Woods, sax at Joshua Tree).

    Apple has named Mac operating systems for Cali landmarks(Opens in a new tab) and put "Designed in California" on its packaging for years, but it had never before produced a love letter like this to the state that birthed it.

    This timely anthem was almost enough to make you forget that the Cupertino company gets huge local tax kickbacks(Opens in a new tab) from the city. Or that it skirts state taxes by funneling cash to its hedge fund subsidiary in Reno, Nevada(Opens in a new tab). Or that the vast majority of its products are made in China. Or that just last year, Apple fought a California Supreme Court order(Opens in a new tab) that they pay retail employees for time spent waiting in line to have their bags searched.

    Dreams of Californication

    That's Apple all over, though. Less a company, more a trillion-dollar California cult designed to brainwash us with pleasant high-tech visions and the comfort of a walled garden. Fellow Silicon Valley giants are taking tumbles in public perception, but Apple's image is stronger than ever — it's the most admired company in the world on (Opens in a new tab)Fortune's(Opens in a new tab) list for 14 years(Opens in a new tab) running, while Facebook has dropped out of sight — in part thanks to these slickly-produced multi-hour product ads.

    Based on incremental improvements to a phone, a tablet and a watch, Apple spins stories about itself that would make a guru look modest. It's an environmental leader! A champion of privacy and health! A friend to stoners!

    Get Mashable Deals delivered to your inbox daily
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    But the iPhone 13 launch event upped the storytelling ante significantly. Apple execs ditched the dystopian white spaceship backgrounds for the great outdoors, from the Monterey coast to a San Diego amphitheater. This sent the message that the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch aren't just designed in California, they are California: suffused in golden sunlight and gold-rush obsession.

    If you have the very Californian dream of making movies, the event told us, then the iPhone 13 is all you need to live that silver-screen life. It's Hollywood in an oblong. California-born director Kathryn Bigelow declared that the new device's improved camera and processor could "change cinema."

    A comedy whodunnit, in the style of California-educated Rian Johnson's Knives Out, was filmed on the device to prove the point. Just pay no attention to the professional film and lighting crew behind the phone. (Or to the fact that this isn't new: the movie Tangerine was filmed on a trio of iPhone 5Ss in 2015, spurring many imitators(Opens in a new tab).)

    Maybe a California-style wellness cult is more your bag. That seems to be how Apple has decided to market its $80-a-year Fitness+ service. The classes, now including California's favorite, pilates, are notable for the instructors' bright can-do energy. A new feature lets you work out with 30 friends at once — because nothing ensures cult membership like a peer group.

    An ad titled "Welcome to the Club" urged us to ditch our gym subscription and go outside for boundless joy with Fitness+. "There is no door, there is no ceiling," the narrator intoned. "There are walls, but we can break through those... the club is the largest in the world because the club is the world."

    An ad for the Apple Watch Series 7 got similarly existential, man. "To live is to ask the big questions," it began, all of which can apparently be answered by Apple Watch. "Are the mysteries of the universe out of reach, or can we discover them through the power of meditation?" it ended, cutting to a woman in lotus pose, literally levitating. The Apple Watch's meditation app, now named Mindfulness, offers a library of Fitness+ guided meditations — a clear shot across the bows of two other California cults (sorry, companies): Calm and Headspace.

    Apple's hymn to California began in the Mojave desert. Credit: APPLE

    But for all this universe-spanning grandiosity, the Apple event was oddly honest in a way that few are. Aligning the company so publicly with California values and style is a recognition of what's deep in its DNA. After all, this is a cult founded by the quintessential California dropout. Steve Jobs, son of immigrants to the state, was an itinerant hippy profoundly inspired by trips to India, not to mention trips on LSD.

    Apple began life at the intersection of 1960s Bay Area counterculture and 1970s Silicon Valley technology. The company lost its way in the Reagan era, when New York suits John Sculley and Gil Amelio took the helm. Then Jobs, the prodigal messiah, guided Apple back towards the light, pushing colorful, clean design and media-making fantasies in the way it still does today. He celebrated the life blood of California's economy — "the crazy ones" who "think different"(Opens in a new tab) — and the counterculture-style remixing of "rip, mix, burn."(Opens in a new tab)

    Computers designed like sunflowers(Opens in a new tab), phone screens you could touch, thousands of songs in your pocket: These were Jobs' California dreams. Through Apple, they changed the world. If it is still true, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang, that everyone dreams of Californication, then these days they do so on an iPhone, an iPad or one of their many imitators. This doesn't absolve Apple from the urgent ethical need to pay its fair share of local and state taxes. But Tim Cook's company is definitely the most effective ambassador of California idealism to the world — and an important reminder of why you shouldn't count the Golden State out yet.

  • The age of TikTok feminism

    The age of TikTok feminism

    On #BimboTok, Chrissy Chlapecka(Opens in a new tab) is queen. The TikTokker, who joined the platform in 2020 and currently boasts over 4 million followers, is known for her unapologetic attitude and no-filter comments. 


    In recent months, bimbofication has become a focus(Opens in a new tab) within feminist communities, especially on TikTok, with creators like Chlapecka helping bring the topic into mainstream discussion. 

    "Bimboism means liberating yourself, your body, and your aesthetic to be what you want them to be without the judgment of others," Chlapecka told Lithium Magazine(Opens in a new tab) in April.  

    There are over 63.8 million views under the BimboTok tag on the platform, and many of the videos are young people, specifically the “girls, gays, and theys” referenced in Chlapecka’s TikToks, with content ranging from OOTDs to relationship advice to day-in-the-life edits.

    On TikTok, we’ve seen a range of groups and discussions forming, with one of the most prominent topics of discussion being feminism. Conversations from internalized misogyny(Opens in a new tab) to capitalist feminism(Opens in a new tab) are just a few of the topics young women are having on the app.

    According to Wall Room Media(Opens in a new tab), as of September 2021, 60 percent of TikTok’s 130 million monthly active users in the United States are female, with 60 percent of all users in the United States also between the ages of 16 and 24. With such a large portion of women, especially young women, using the app, it was inevitable for discourse around feminism and the female experience to occur.

    On TikTok, Gen Z is recentering the conversation... creating trends that directly call out the previous generation’s idea of feminism.

    Of course feminist discourse manifests in many ways. With the rise of social media in the 2010s came the era of the #girlboss, where Millennial pink was plastered on every post alongside inspirational platitudes. As social media boomed, the conversation around feminism grew with it — and, importantly, evolved. The girlboss discourse has been maligned and memeified for its white, cis view of feminism. It isn’t enough to center women atop corporate hierarchies; you have to dismantle the misogynist, racist structures that uphold them. 

    Now on TikTok, Gen Z is recentering the conversation altogether and creating trends that directly call out the previous generation’s idea of feminism. 

    In recent months, in addition to bimbofication, we’ve seen trends such as "me before and after I stopped dressing for the male gaze" and "POV: you are a woman written by a man."

    As both a prominent user of the app myself, and a young Gen Z woman, I find this discourse necessary because whilst the idea of the male gaze — the act of sexualizing women through a heterosexual, masculine lens — isn’t a new phenomenon, TikTok is allowing these conversations, often led by young women, to be had on a global scale. 

    SEE ALSO: TikTok wants you to stop dressing for the male gaze

    For example, take the "me before and after I stopped dressing for the male gaze" trend that took off in October of last year. Women would show old pictures of themselves in outfits they believed satisfied the male gaze, followed by more recent photos that embody a different fashion sense, one free from the male gaze.

    However, it has been highlighted by many creators that it seems the majority of the videos under this trend should be renamed to "before and after I started dressing with the current trends" — as many of the before pictures appear to show tight-fitting outfits popular in the 2010s, and the after pictures highlight the baggier 'fits popular now. 

    There’s also the idea that you can’t actually stop dressing for the male gaze because it penetrates every aspect of women’s lives. Creator in a new tab) uses(Opens in a new tab) the Margaret Atwood quote "even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy […] you are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur." The male gaze is heavily embedded into our society, to the point where I often cannot separate my identity from who I am and who I believe I should be; I often feel the need to perform my own gender and sexuality for the omnipresent male gaze. That’s not to say that every woman craves male validation, because the male gaze and male validation are different concepts.

    The male gaze is something many view as inescapable, it is an inherent, deep-rooted aspect of a patriarchal society. Male validation is seeking value and approval from men. Even though the two are similar, and male validation is rooted in the ideas of the male gaze, it can be argued that the male gaze is something passive while seeking male validation is active.

    "Bimbofication" was portrayed as a movement of changing ideas. Bimbo, previously used as a misogynistic insult, was reclaimed by women online. They began to ask, what was so wrong with being a pretty air-head? Creator @fauxrich(Opens in a new tab) defined a bimbo as "hyperfeminine, hot, [someone who] doesn’t care about academic elitism, doesn’t judge others [...], lives [the bimbo] lifestyle, and is really nice to others." In essence, they use their femininity as power. 

    SEE ALSO: On TikTok, being 'written by a woman' is the ultimate compliment

    Yet, there’s still a lack of inclusivity in the conversation. When we talk about wielding femininity as power, Black women are often left out, while creators like Chlapecka are rewarded with likes and followers. TikTokker @oumousolo(Opens in a new tab) responded to a comment asking her thoughts about bimbofication, writing, "it was centered around white women, it was excluding black women. We’re already hypersexualized, we’re already demonized, we’re already masculinized. We don’t have the same infantilization that white women have."

    When we talk about wielding femininity as power, Black women are often left out, while creators like Chlapecka are rewarded with likes and followers.

    In fact, many have started to question: Is it really as empowering as once thought? There are men online who already view women as objects whose purpose is to be quiet and look pretty. Bimbofication, while the creators themselves seem to be in on the joke, does not necessarily do anything to progress the feminist movement, especially for Black women. 

    Ultimately, the conversation around bimbofication shows how a lot of feminist discourse takes shape across TikTok. It’s a development of ideas and a continuous conversation. 

    Perhaps some could argue that minimizing such complicated topics, like the male gaze, to a 15-second video trend isn’t taking feminism seriously enough. But TikTok is facilitating feminist discussions at at a rapid-fire pace, allowing young women to be a part of the conversation from an early age, to educate ourselves and others, and to actually lead — and challenge — the discourse. 

  • The yikes, unfollowing now meme imagines fictional characters cancellable backgrounds

    The yikes, unfollowing now meme imagines fictional characters cancellable backgrounds

    It's a fact of being online. At some point, you'll realize a person you followed — maybe for some innocuous joke years ago, or a random video they just posted — has a sketchy background. Then you've got to unfollow and disengage.


    And sure, that's an experience that's part and parcel with being online, but it's also kind of telling. The online world moves so fast that you people literally feel the need to tweet things like "oops didn't mean to retweet that problematic person" to wash their hands clean. Yes, it's impossible to background check every person you follow and yes, sometimes people also somehow miss how someone is clearly Not Good. And it's kind of hilarious to see people flip from "I like this person" to "nope nope nope" in an instant.

    People ran with the idea online and, of course, turned it into a meme. It became a copypasta where folks on Twitter would post something like "Yikes. Unfollowing Now. Had no idea..." and then, typically, fill in the rest with some sort of fictional character.

    The meme is a close cousin of the recent meme about softblocking people. The unfollow version is now everywhere with just about every kind of pop culture reference you could imagine.

    In the few days since the meme took off, it feels like everything and everyone has been unfollowed. It's become a test of your culture, historical, and political knowledge at this point. Go ahead and search "unfollowing now"(Opens in a new tab) on Twitter and be tested on how many you can decipher.

  • Camara disappeared, many people in Rome were abandoned? Going his own way, Mourinho’s embarrassment

    A paradox lies before Mourinho.

    Is Rome useless or useless? In March, halfway through the Devil’s schedule, Mourinho is worried about a long list of injuries. At present, there are important players absent from the third-line positions except the goalkeeper. The media are talking about the need for Rome to make a rotation, but this is Mourinho’s embarrassment.


    Rotation. Who? Take the midfield as an example. I’m afraid Marty Camara himself can’t remember the last time he played. Mourinho would rather let Cristante and Ma Diqi fight repeatedly than send him to play. Even the teenager Tasirovich has temporarily replaced him, while Camara has almost disappeared. Some media rumors that he is injured, but since 2023, he has been healthy enough to enter the big list and sit on the bench. Some critics say that Rome will use him only if it is necessary, mainly because he is worried that his appearances will be full.

    Not only Camara, but also young players such as volpato and Tacirovich, who had been highly anticipated by Mourinho, have lost their chances in the standing list after a period of tempering. Young Beauvais was once in Mourinho’s plan, but he still couldn’t play the main role after the game was tempered. Rome had hoped to use him and volpato as additions to the purchase of Fratesi during the winter transfer.


    Also gradually disappearing in the starting lineup is celik, the winner of the bid. celik has not played in four games since he came out after Rome defeated Verona’s substitute Solbakken 1-0 on February 20th. Some media have analyzed that the confidence of Turks has been affected since the goal against cremona, and the strong comeback of Karsdorp and the rapid growth of Zalewski have compressed the space of celik.

    Of course, for coach Jose Mourinho, he is more aware of different tactics and player arrangements for different opponents, just like when he played against Real Society, he used Karsdorp accurately, which inspired the fighting spirit and energy of the Dutch. Similarly, Camara, Tasirovich and celik do not mean that they have been completely abandoned. They can only play when Mourinho thinks fit. In the past, many media questioned that Mourinho often went his own way and didn’t know how to rotate. In fact, Rome suffered from rotation at many times this season. In the two games against cremona, it happened that Mourinho tried to rotate, and the result was without exception.

  • The gear you need to crown yourself grill master in time for BBQ season

    The gear you need to crown yourself grill master in time for BBQ season

    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.


    If summer had a flavor, it would be grilled everything. If you can eat it, you can grill it — but who wants a burger cooked on a rusty old barbecue that sat outside all winter? Nobody. Check out these picks from Walmart(Opens in a new tab) and get yourself a spanking new grill and tools to stay fired up all summer long.

    Have the right tools on hand

    This set has all the basics you need — a meat fork, basting brush, grilling tong, and large spatula — and the price can’t be beat. The soft rubber handles feel good in the palm and you can hang them up when you’re done to keep things civilized.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Expert Grill Stainless Steel 4-piece BBQ Tool Set with Soft Grip Handles ($14.97) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Dial in your grilling setup

    If you want to grill like a pro, you need to prep like a pro. This cart has almost 650 inches of stainless countertop space, a condiment tray, a tablet stand, a trash bag holder, and a paper towel bar so you can wipe up any sauce spillage on the spot.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Expert Grill Outdoor Food Preparation Cart ($97.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Juggle multiple diets

    If you’re a carnivore and he’s a hardcore plant-eater, this ceramic grill has a multi-level cooking space that will let you grill, sear, and smoke tofu dogs and buffalo burgers at different temperatures at the exact same time. It also happens to be the perfect size for two.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Kamado Joe Classic I 18-inch Charcoal Grill (now $649.00, originally $799.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Be the boss of your barbie

    If you’re serious about your grill skills, this beast comes fully loaded with over 2,000 square inches of cooking area, a charcoal grill, a gas barbeque, an electric smoker, and 36,000 BTUs of power. This is the full meal deal.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 Gas & Charcoal Combo Grill with Smoker ($592.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Control your smoker with an app

    No more hovering over the grill waiting around. Set this pellet smoker to the temperature you want, hit ignite, grab your phone, and wander inside for a cocktail. The Traeger app lets you adjust the temperature and monitor your slab of meat from afar.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill ($799.95) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Plug this in and smoke away

    This old-school machine is great for newbies because it does only one thing. Simply plug it in, set the dial, and let it smoke your food. What it lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in space, too. It can handle two racks of ribs, enough for all your friends

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Masterbuilt Analog Electric Smoker (now $97.00, originally $150.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Do full-on brunch at your campsite

    Roll out of your tent and start frying the bacon. This cart-style gas griddle has fold-up legs and wheels and rolls with you, wherever you go. What’s cool about a portable griddle is that you can whip up a hearty brekkie before you hit the trails

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Blackstone Adventure Ready 2-Burner 28" Griddle Cooking Station ($279.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Take this good-looking grill to go

    It’s pretty enough for your countertop, but this compact machine has a locking lid and folding legs for a hassle-free campsite setup — or impromptu backyard cookout. The push-button ignition fires up to 20,000 BTUs of grilling power, too. Not bad for its sizer

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Cuisinart Deluxe Two Burner Portable Propane Gas Grill ($147.00) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • Why Tai Chi needs more love from the tech world

    Why Tai Chi needs more love from the tech world

    March Mindfulness is Mashable's series that examines the intersection of meditation practice and technology. Because even in the time of coronavirus, March doesn't have to be madness.


    The first time I encountered Tai Chi was in 2002, via one of the hottest technology formats of the age: DVDs. I bought Tai Chi for Weight Loss on Amazon, and was surprised by how its exercises felt easier and more effective than my prior purchases, Yoga for Weight Loss and Pilates for Weight Loss. Instead of requiring you to stay still in painful positions, Tai Chi offered a light, smooth, steady flow between them that felt like slow-motion dancing.

    I wore the Tai Chi DVD out; the others gathered dust on the shelf. Its teacher, Scott Cole, was a friendly young guide with a soft voice and a shirtless six-pack, introducing moves with fantastic names like Wave Hands Like Clouds and Golden Rooster Stands On One Leg, steadily building up to a surprisingly sweat-inducing workout on a blissful Hawaiian shoreline.

    This was right at the beginning of the U.S. yoga boom: model and philanthropist Christy Turlington had appeared in a pretzel position on the cover of TIME(Opens in a new tab), while Lululemon had opened its first couple of stores. I remember expecting that Tai Chi's popularity would boom in tandem alongside that of yoga. After all, there's a lot that unites the two practices.

    Both are kinds of physical meditation that demand focused attention. Both were practiced for thousands of years (yoga in India, Tai Chi in China) in multiple forms. Simplified versions of both practices reached the west in the 20th century. And yes, as those DVDs promised, both have a long list of proven health benefits(Opens in a new tab), including losing weight at a steady clip if you keep up the practice over time.

    HOLLYWOOD, CA.,OCTOBER 11, 2012: Kay D'Arcy practices Tai Chi in the garden of her Hollywood apartment October 11, 2012. D'Arcy is an 80-year-old retired nurse from England who decided to start over and try her luck in Hollywood. The petite octogenarian plays a karate-chopping, knife throwing assassin in the Kickstart video pilot, Agent 88. (^^^/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).] *** [] (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Credit: Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    Fast forward two decades, however, and the two practices are clearly far from equal in the eyes of 2020s tech culture. Google "yoga" and you'll get 1.4 billion hits; "tai chi" returns half of that. YouTube's top yoga beginners' video(Opens in a new tab) has 38 million views versus 8.1 million for the Tai Chi equivalent(Opens in a new tab). There are more than a hundred English-language yoga podcasts on Spotify, and only two for Tai Chi.

    The same disparity can be found in both major app stores. You can download dozens of yoga apps with slick, professional-looking interfaces. Of the handful of Tai Chi apps, most are collections of amateur drawings and re-skinned YouTube videos. I've seen several good apps drop out of Apple's App Store as they failed to keep up with iOS updates.

    The only ones I use on a regular basis are 7 Minute Chi — Meditate and Move(Opens in a new tab) and Tai Chi Temple(Opens in a new tab), both by a Belgian developer called Zhen Wu. And even the latter has problems, such as the fact that it cuts off some of the video of its tiny Tai Chi master. Neither quite hit the spot, which is why I've digitized that old Tai Chi DVD, uploaded it to my iPad, and still use it to this day.

    Why the imbalance between the ancient arts? In part, it's because Tai Chi has a definition problem. There's a lot of overlap with Qi Gong, a somewhat lighter, easier form of exercise, and with hardcore martial arts like Kung Fu. Is Tai Chi a fast form of moving meditation or a slow form of self defense? The answer is that it's kind of both — which helps explain why Tai Chi is closely related to the taijitu, better known as the yin and yang symbol. But things with fluid definitions are not always easily embraced in western culture.

    Tai Chi also has an image problem. Think "yoga" and you're probably picturing a room full of lithe, glowing young gym rats in flattering outfits moving into warrior pose. But traditional Tai Chi uniforms, chosen for ease of movement rather than looking good on Instagram, look more like shapeless silk pajamas. In the U.S., Tai Chi is most commonly seen practiced in parks by the elderly, spreading a false perception that it's something you should only bother taking up in your later years, when you're trying to keep arthritis at bay.

    To be fair, Tai Chi is indeed great for arthritic pain.(Opens in a new tab) But it has also been shown to help with a wide range of other conditions that afflict us at every age, including stress(Opens in a new tab), lower back pain(Opens in a new tab), and my nemesis — occasional bouts of vertigo. (This 2009 study says(Opens in a new tab) that improving your balance with tai chi poses helps calm things down in your inner ears.)

    If Tai Chi is seen in movies at all, it's either as a martial art in a Hong Kong-style action epic (such as Keanu Reeves' 2013 directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi), or it's meant to signify that someone is old and a little out of touch. Such as Robert DeNiro's 70-something title character in The Intern, practicing Tai Chi with his peers in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, or The Farewell, in which a Chinese-American woman laughs through(Opens in a new tab) her grandma's serious attempts to practice.

    And then there's The Big Lebowski, in which The Dude (Jeff Bridges) practices awkward tai chi forms on the rug that really tied the room together, White Russian in hand.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Perhaps, in the hyper-stressed 2020s, Tai Chi's time has finally come. There are a number of Tai Chi apps for virtual reality systems, such as Guided Tai Chi(Opens in a new tab) on Oculus Quest. The practice makes sense for VR in a way that yoga does not. In Tai Chi, you're almost always on your feet and moving your arms around with precision — a natural fit for VR controllers, which can show your hands where to go, whereas you'd have to put them down for yoga poses like Downward-Facing Dog.

    But while I wait for app entrepreneurs to catch on, I'll be over here in my lockdown-friendly tai chi pants, once again firing up a 20-year-old video and mindfully blissing out on the shores of an imaginary Hawaii. No White Russian required.

    Read more about mindfulness

    • No, you don't need a guide to meditate

    • Buddhists offer their own form of online meditation — and it's nothing like the apps

    • Why ADHD and mindfulness make for unexpected but perfect bedfellows

    • 4 beginner mindfulness exercises you can do without an app

  • Rachel Hollis, paid relationship pro, doesnt know a lot about relationships

    Rachel Hollis, paid relationship pro, doesnt know a lot about relationships

    Rachel Hollis is back.


    The self-help author and Christian influencer is creeping back onto social media after her latest controversy in April. Hollis compared herself to Harriet Tubman(Opens in a new tab) and other world-changing women of color by saying they're "unrelatable" like her — when: 1. She is certainly not like any of those women and 2. Her entire Brand™ was built on being relatable.

    In addition to returning to Instagram with photos of dandelions(Opens in a new tab) and sidewalk chalk(Opens in a new tab), Hollis also quietly dropped a YouTube video this week that raised alarm bells to those familiar with her work. The video contains a seemingly innocuous story about Hollis's first kiss since her divorce:

    But at around 6:22 in the video, Hollis says, "I don't know a lot about relationships."

    This is coming from someone who charged couples $1,800 for a relationship retreat(Opens in a new tab).

    Hollis, author of the bestselling advice books Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing, isn't a stranger to the cycle of getting into hot water and wading in it until she thinks the internet forgot about it. Throughout her career, Hollis has been criticized for being a bad boss(Opens in a new tab); plagiarising Maya Angelou(Opens in a new tab) and others(Opens in a new tab); aligning herself with multi-level marketing(Opens in a new tab) (MLM) schemes; and spewing toxic positivity(Opens in a new tab).

    These separate instances — plagiarism, MLMs, toxic positivity, "unrelatable" — coalesce into critics proclaiming Hollis a fraud. Even her most diehard fans questioned her credibility when Rachel and Dave Hollis filed for divorce(Opens in a new tab) in 2020 after years of offering and charging for marriage advice.

    "We have worked endlessly over the last three years to make this work and have come to the conclusion that it is healthier and more respectful for us to choose this as the end of our journey as a married couple," Hollis said in her caption(Opens in a new tab), insinuating that she and her husband had relationship difficulties since 2017.

    Meanwhile in 2018, the couple hosted the $1,800 Rise Together couples conference, where the event description(Opens in a new tab) states attendees would "learn some tangible advice for improving their relationship." They dropped a marriage advice YouTube video(Opens in a new tab) and began the Rise Together podcast(Opens in a new tab), where they dispensed advice just weeks before the split announcement. (Dave has subsequently hosted alone.)

    Neither Rachel nor Dave Hollis are licensed marriage therapists, nor do they have any professional qualifications. In their Facebook video announcing the 2018 Rise Together conference, Rachel Hollis said: "What you're thinking is, 'I didn't know you guys were counselors or therapists, that you had special training in order to guide other couples."

    The camera zoomed in on her face when she admitted: "We don't."

    SEE ALSO: TikTok's white girl dancing is pure joy

    As reported in the New York Times, the breakup shocked both Hollis's employees and her fans(Opens in a new tab); in public, they appeared to be in a happy relationship. But not only was Hollis untruthful about her marriage, she also profited off it. She doled out advice and made people pay for it as if she was qualified.

    With her latest video, Hollis once again shines a light on her actual ignorance of the subject. Should someone who doesn't "know a lot about relationships" charge $1,800 for a couples' weekend? Should she host a marriage advice podcast?

    The answer is obvious: No.

    Rachel Hollis has built her career off of being an unattainable type of relatable, of having a marriage that only had small, fixable problems but was outwardly perfect. As time went on, however, the cracks in her perfect life — and therefore the cracks in her trustworthiness — have started to show.

    The mask slipped in April, when Hollis admitted she didn't want to be relatable. Now, months later, it seems the mask slipped once again.