It wasn't always easy - getting dumped by my female friends for their newfound boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends stung; I felt like a jilted lover, heartbroken and wondering what I'd done wrong. But it was also easier to forgive them, to accept what time and energy they were willing to offer, even if it was less than what I wanted.
The most moving parts of 'Real American' come when Lythcott-Haims stares unflinchingly at her own self-loathing, writing about the racist encounters of her childhood that convinced her from a young age that there was something inherently wrong with being black.
I've long been interested in how technology mediates desire and the way that our phones, an extension of ourselves, foster intimate interactions that feel so personal and deep, despite being relayed through a machine.
Falling head over heels in love with women was a habit I thought I'd thoroughly grown out of in middle school, when a group of about five girls and I color-coordinated our outfits and spent weekends and even some weeknights sprawled out in each others bedrooms.
In America, mixed-race identity tends to invite both curiosity and suspicion, largely because few have found a way to interrogate it without centering whiteness as the scale by which to evaluate blackness.
When 'Drag Race' first began, it seemed like a fun window into an underground culture, but over the nine years it has aired, the show has evolved to reflect America's changing relationship to queer rights and acceptance.
Spotify, Tidal, and even YouTube, to a degree, are vast and rich troves of music, but they primarily function as search engines organized by algorithms. You typically have to know what you're looking for in order to find it.
SoundCloud took a community-first approach to building its business, prioritizing finding artists to post on its service over making deals with music labels to license their music, the approach taken by Spotify.
The Internet has become the go-to place to toss out ideas in the hope that they could lead to a job, but it has also become the place where people go to find the best ideas, creating a lopsided dynamic that tends to benefit people in power.
The video-sharing app Vine was the first place I got a glimpse of cultures beyond my own, including those of the Middle East. I was able to see how some women there wanted us to see them: prospering, aware.
Our contemporary analogues to the personal notebook now live on the web - communal, crowdsourced, and shared online in real time. Some of the most interesting and vital work I come across exists only in pixels.
We may have a tacit understanding of how our solar system works, but watching the sun disappear behind the moon reminds us of the vastness of space and the enduring mysteries of the universe we inhabit.
Once, at Thanksgiving, a neighbor wandered in while my cousin Lisa worked on a turkey, shearing meat off its frame and sliding the steaming slices onto a big flowered plate. 'Hey, that's the man's job,' she yelped, in between slurps of her Big Gulp. No one even paused to acknowledge the comment; everyone just laughed and laughed.
We are being conditioned, as a population, to never wait, to never delay our gratification, to accept thoughtless, constant consumption as the new norm. But how we think about consumption and willpower carry enormous implications for the environment and the culture of society as a whole.
Online, there is an irresistible social currency to being a user who has thousands of followers, who starts memes, who comes up with an idea that is turned into a movie. But I wonder how comfortable we should be with this arrangement.
Over the years, I've come to realize that sometimes a ghost isn't always a ghost. Sometimes, telling a ghost story is a way to talk about something else present in the air, taking up space beside you. It can also be a manifestation of intuition, or something you've known in your bones but haven't yet been able to accept.
Most times, at the movies, my stress levels are ratcheted up so high that I can barely sit through the full production without excusing myself, clutching people next to me or crawling out of my seat, incapacitated by the unknown.
Artists' obsessions with technology are not new, but in the late aughts, the work tended to focus on the possibility of the medium, treating technology like a new tool rather than a sociopolitical framework.