Friday Fives, Vol. 77
Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.
Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.
Instagram’s Candid Attitude
Let’s be real. If we see one more brunch overhead table shot with a perfectly-placed coffee cup, nothing eaten, and a hand that just *coincidentally* happens to be reaching for the salt, we might throw our phones out the window. Luckily, it seems like most of us beginning to feel the same. In a much welcome shift, Instagram users are beginning to turn away from their perfectly shot and overly curated Instagram grids in favor of a more realistic and imperfect style. Gone are the days of taking 100 shots from the same angle and investing extensive time in post production to choose the *perfect filter* for your account’s carefully established brand aesthetic. The new trend is to capture a moment in its most real state — the grittier, the better. If 99% of your Instagram account is grainy photos of you lounging in sweatpants with your cat, congratulations! The rest of the world has finally caught up with your cool. ✨ — AB
All pay and no play?
Unboxing toys, whipping up batches of slime, and flossing (not the kind with your teeth) — such is the life of ‘kidfluencers’, top child stars on Youtube and Instagram who rack up millions of views and earn as much as $22 million annually. But as it turns out, the life of an insta-famous toddler isn’t all fun and games. Child labor laws have yet to be amended to apply to minors in social media advertising, and Instagram and Youtube have yet to institute policies that will help protect these starlets from being exploited. Once legislation catches up with modern technology, kidfluencers may eventually become a thing of the past (along with those satisfying slime videos). — AH
Just when we thought Slack was on our side, it’s invented yet another way to earn its name and keep us from actually doing any work — “The Word of the Day Is” game. The objective is simple: To (somehow) guess what secret word the platform has selected from a list of only 171,476 in the English language. We have Mschf Internet Studios, a creative firm based in New York City, to thank for this massively addicting time-waster. Contestants have already won by guessing words like “inscrutable” and “gastropub”. Mschf refuses to reveal how the word each day is chosen, so you, too, can cast your fate to the internet by subscribing to the #guess_here channel, where you’ll be accompanied by over 2,500 other linguistic gamblers. Oh, and did we mention the winner each day gets $1,000? There’s no limit to the number of guesses you can submit, so it’s not like you had anything else going on today — right? — LK
Brick by brick
The classic LEGO brick, a beloved childhood staple for generations of kids everywhere, will soon be starting a new, more inclusive chapter in its long and illustrious history with the introduction of its newest product: Braille bricks for the blind and visually impaired. Launching in 2020, the bricks will feature studs used for characters in the Braille alphabet while remaining fully compatible with regular lego bricks. A partnership between LEGO and The Danish Association of the Blind, the project was created with the goal of bolstering the declining number of blind children who are choosing to learn Braille. The 250-piece set is currently being tested in seven languages and will soon be distributed FOR FREE to partner organizations that assist the blind and visually impaired. The only way we could possibly love LEGO more? If these new sets came with slippers to protect the feet of parents everywhere during late night trips to the bathroom. — KJ
Thanks for the Memories
What you put on the Internet stays there forever, and Facebook isn’t about to let us forget that. Its “Memories” feature, which once tapped into our nostalgic longing for the days when we had embarrassing haircuts and went out of our way to post banal status updates, has now become a revolving door of recycled notifications. As our posts become less frequent, our memories have become fewer and farther between (especially considering the wave of embarrassing 8th grade throwback posts we all deleted after last year’s round of Memories). Where is the value in repeated content, you ask? Well, if it looks like ad space and acts like ad space, it must be ad space (as shown by CNET writer Tim Stevens’ tweet about a targeted ad he received for a car he posted about 7 years ago). Aside from this bit of AI creepiness, at least Facebook is helping us save on scrapbook paper. 🤷 — LK