Cowboy-cations and Ethical Sex-plorations
after school weekend edition
Hi friends! Welcome back to After School ✨weekend edition✨, an extra long and extra opinionated youth culture digest for paid subscribers.
I’m writing to you from upstate — Sullivan County, specifically — where I’ll be bouncing around Livingston Manor and Callicoon all weekend. I had big dreams of hiking, but it’s currently 19 degrees outside and there’s snow on the ground so I think it’s going be fewer trails, more breweries. Any recs, let me know!
This week, GQ published an interview with Nicholas Thompson, the CEO of The Atlantic and former Editor in Chief of Wired, who also happens to be one of the top over-40 marathoners in the world. (For years, he ran eight and a half miles to the old Condé Nast office in Times Square.) The Q&A was about routines, and one of the questions was, “If you could go back 10 years, what’s something you'd spend less time on and something you'd spend more time on?” to which Thompson answered:
Time spent focused reading is super valuable, and time spent engaging in of-the-moment social media is not super well-spent. Not that I'm completely against social media, because it's really important to understand how media's evolving and it's been very useful to learn how it works and to understand its algorithms. But if someone had videotaped the last 10 years and had a total breakdown of the hours I've spent, I can't imagine that I'd wish I had spent more time on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook. I think I would certainly have rather spent more time—and I do spend a fair amount of time—but reading good books, pausing and being able to put the constant electronic machines to the side.
I thought about Thompson’s answer when, while running errands around Williamsburg this week, I walked past a girl with a tripod taking photos of herself in an outfit (and it was an outfit), likely for the purpose of sharing on TikTok or Instagram. Forty-five minutes later, I passed her again on a different block still trying to get the money shot.
To be fair, I had nothing to show for the previous 45 minutes except for some new Glossier lip gloss (the line finally died down) and a jug of toilet cleaner. And for all I know, that girl is a social media influencer raking in eight figures, and those 45 minutes earned her another couple grand — time well spent. But Thompson’s answer has had me thinking about the sheer amount of time we, as a society, spend making TikToks (and Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, and all the rest of it!), and how we’ll feel about that in 10 years.
Anyway! Before I close my computer to read a book in front of a fire (am I doing this “super valuable time spent” thing right?), let’s get to it.
Today, we’re talking about:
A $1,000 mini skirt that went viral and is selling out
Gamified Black Friday
‘Clueless’-esque RFID mirrors
Ultra fast fashion vs fast fashion
Swifties vs Ticketmaster
And everything I’m buying, reading, listening to, etc.!
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