What I'm doing differently online

Living in the now

This is going to be a quick post because I’m catching up on what I missed since I was WFF most of the week (if you’ve emailed me and haven’t gotten an answer, please be aware that it’s because I’m still trying to sort out the Duplos):

As the days turn into weeks and the quarantine continues longer than it takes some companies to switch Javascript frameworks, I’ve noticed that my online habits are changing, too. I thought I’d write down some of the more interesting changes in case they turn into longer posts later on, and I’d love to hear in the comments if any of your internet habits have changed as well.

  • I’ve found myself less willing to tolerate discussions about, say, Zoom and privacy. Yes, we know it’s a problem. No, I’m not going to make my relatives switch to *checks notes* Jitsi Meet because they have a hard enough problem with Zoom as it is. I just want to talk to them. This is a weird, extraordinary time, and even though I’m probably one of the most pro-privacy people out there (I did write this), there is no room for discussions about privacy when we’re trying to meet our basic socialization needs, in my opinion. Privacy is a luxury. We’ll get back to examining it once we get some masks.

  • I have become extremely interested in logistics. My most-visited sites are now Instacart and Amazon Prime. For the first few weeks, I tried using Amazon Prime now for Whole Foods delivery, but then stopped completely because it completely stopped working. Instacart still works, and seems to be working better lately, but I’ve been tipping way, way, way more, which is hard sometimes because they set the default tip to something like 10%, so you have to be vigilant to change it. Late-stage capitalism never looked so bleak. There’s supposedly a Whole Foods delivery slot script out there but I’m too lazy to use it.

    I find myself constantly thinking about my Instacart strategy, what’s currently in my cart, and what we’re going to run out of two days from now. I keep a pen and paper always at hand in case I remember something we need, and I am constantly, constantly thinking about the next thing I’m going to cook, and then the thing after that. I even downloaded the Instacart app.

  • My second-most visited sites are Nextdoor, Facebook, and my local news affiliate. I simply can’t get the level of local news that I need from the national news. Pennsylvania is very different from California, which is very different from New York. I’m relying a lot on my local municipality site and discussiouns at Nextdoor about what’s going on in grocery stores, who needs help around the city, and, of course, where people have spotted toilet paper. Local restaurants for some reason are not updating their websites, and I can only find out on Facebook who is doing curbisde pickup and delivery, which doctor’s offices are still open, and which parks people are wearing masks in.

  • I am scouring the internet for tons of coloring pages and kindergarten worksheets to keep my daughter busy (the baby likes to eat them) and thus have become exposed to the school curriculum market.

  • I don’t plan anything more than a week out. I have some kind of sense of existential dread about now using my Google Calendar for really anything. I used to check it chronically, constantly, every day before I truly woke up for the day and once again at night. I have not really checked it in weeks.

  • I use Twitter Moments a lot. Before, I thought it was a junk collection of news articles, hastily collected my ML, and I still think that, only now I need a global view of what’s happening in coronaland. I don’t get any good information from a single scan, but over the course of a couple days, I can tell which way things are headed, and right now there is a thaw, I can tell, and we’re moving towards opening things back up.

  • I am not seeing anything online about the MO once we open back up, and that’s probably what scares me the most, because over the next month, I think we will, and will need to leave the bardo, and out into the brave, new world.

  • Last week, Redfin started emailing me new houses. I didn’t notice that they stopped, but I did once they started again, and for some very strange reason it’s this, more than anything else, that has given me hope.

What I’m reading lately:

  1. Thread on VPs in DS:

  2. Colleges announcing plans for back to school:

  3. Things I wish more developers knew about databases

  4. This was a while ago, but I finished Susan Fowler’s book! Still digesting it.

  5. Soviet math textbooks


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The Author:
I’m a data scientist. Most of my free time is spent wrangling a preschooler and a baby, reading, and writing bad tweets. Find out more here or follow me on Twitter.