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Why'd You Push That Button?

By The Verge  

Why’d you like that celebrity photo on Instagram? Why’d you leave that restaurant review on Yelp? Why’d you text in lowercase, or turn on read receipts, or share your location? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany ask real people the hard, meta, and occasionally silly questions about the way technology influences our thinking, changes our behavior, and affects our social lives.

Why’d you like that celebrity photo on Instagram? Why’d you leave that restaurant review on Yelp? Why’d you text in lowercase, or turn on read receipts, or share your location? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany ask real people the hard, meta, and occasionally silly questions about the way technology influences our thinking, changes our behavior, and affects our social lives.

 

#49

What does ‘being verified’ actually mean?

I have sad news today: we’re publishing the season 4 finale of Why’d You Push That Button? The good news, though, is that it’s a really great episode! Today, Kaitlyn Tiffany and I (Ashley Carman) are asking what verification on social media accounts really means. To some, it represents more than a badge of authenticity. We wonder why people want to be verified and what they’re willing to do to get the blue checkmark.  I tell the story of my own journey to Instagram verification (weird flex, I know) and ask my friend Michelle what she thinks about me now that I have a checkmark. Afterward, we interview Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson about verification’s origins, and then we chat with two guests who differ on the importance of verification. We talk with a content creator named Mark, who once tried to pay someone to get his Instagram account verified, and artist Joseph Grazi about his Culture Cures project and why he’s slapping anti-influencer stickers onto New York City subway train cars and platforms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

07 Aug 2019

32 MINS

32:32

07 Aug 2019


#48

Why do you use Close Friends on Instagram?

Instagram introduced its Close Friends feature, the ability for users to assign followers to a Close Friends list and only post Stories for them, nearly a year ago. At the time, it seemed like an official product response to the user behavior of Finstagrams, or accounts that people created solely to post less-curated, raw material to a select group of friends. On this week’s episode of Why’d You Push That Button?, Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Carman want to know how Close Friends is going. Who’s using it? Why are they using it? Is the Finsta in trouble? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

31 Jul 2019

30 MINS

30:14

31 Jul 2019


#47

Why you’ll never quit Amazon Prime (from Land of the Giants)

Land of the Giants is a new podcast from Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network about the five major technology companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – or “FAANG”) that have reshaped our world. Each season focuses on one of the giants and explores the ways that it’s changed our lives – for better and for worse. The first season is about The Rise of Amazon and is hosted by Recode’s Jason Del Rey. Enjoy this special preview of the first episode, Why You’ll Never Quit Amazon Prime, and subscribe to Land of the Giants for free in your favorite podcast app to hear the rest of the episode and to get new episodes automatically. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

29 Jul 2019

13 MINS

13:16

29 Jul 2019


#46

What keeps people on Snapchat?

In the social media world, Instagram has dominated as the most used app in 2019, but what happened to Snapchat? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany dive into where Snapchat is after Instagram stole their innovative "story" feature, and what the people who still use it are using it for.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

24 Jul 2019

36 MINS

36:36

24 Jul 2019


#45

Why do you slide into DMs?

In 2019, what's really going down in people's Instagram and Twitter direct messages? How has the behavior and usage changed over the past few years? Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Carman interview people who found love in the DMs and others who didn't. Later, the director of product management at Instagram reveals why people use DMs, and how Instagram makes it easier for users to slide into them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

17 Jul 2019

36 MINS

36:24

17 Jul 2019


#44

Is auto-replying ruining email?

Do you use Gmail's "smart reply" feature when answering e-mails? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany explore the world of the automated email responses and how it makes us feel as both the sender and the recipient.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

10 Jul 2019

33 MINS

33:41

10 Jul 2019


#43

Death Online: When celebrities die

In the third and final episode of the Death Online series, Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany analyze why people flock to Twitter after a celebrity dies. Guests include a reporter who is all too familiar with the phenomenon, a writer who fears the day his favorite celebrity passes, a musician we force to think about her own death, and a sociologist who contextualizes "celebrity death Twitter" in the broader history of public mourning.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

26 Jun 2019

39 MINS

39:05

26 Jun 2019


#42

Death Online: Mourning a robot

What happens when your robot friend dies? Ashley Carman explores the grieving community surrounding the short-lived social robot Jibo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

19 Jun 2019

39 MINS

39:47

19 Jun 2019


#41

Death Online: Planning your digital afterlife

What’s going to happen to all of your tweets, Instagram photos, and emails when you die? To kick off a special three-part miniseries about Death Online, Ashley and Kaitlyn are in search of the perfect digital afterlife — and the skills they’ll need to clean up after themselves from beyond the grave. In this episode, they talk to an estate planner, a Tumblr star, an advice columnist, and a Why’d You Push That Button? listener who has no interest in being a Facebook ghost. Long story short: if you want to RIP, you have to plan ahead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

12 Jun 2019

37 MINS

37:13

12 Jun 2019


#40

Does deleting Instagram make you happier?

People are becoming more conscious of their phone and app usage to a point that tech companies, including Google and Apple, are building software to deter them from scrolling through apps like Instagram and Twitter.  On this episode, Kaitlyn deactivates her Instagram account to try and feel happier. Does it actually work? She and Ashley talk to users who have taken breaks from Instagram, a professor who studied social media abstinence, and Google to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

05 Jun 2019

47 MINS

47:39

05 Jun 2019


#39

Why are you anonymous online?

Anonymous accounts can be essential for creatives on the internet and also a tool for others to detach themselves from their work. This week, The Verge’s Ashley Carman and Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany talk to users who feel the need to keep their personal life out of their Instagram accounts; a reporter who was the victim of an anonymous Twitter parody account; and a media researcher who studies the reasons people want to be anonymous. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

29 May 2019

39 MINS

39:49

29 May 2019


#38

Why do you promote your tweets?

Promoting a tweet has been a tool for brands, influencers, and entrepreneurs to spread their message, but why do regular users promote their tweets? Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox talk to Twitter users, an engagement editor, and an expert on personal branding to find answers. Kaitlyn also sacrifices her vanity and promotes her own tweet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

22 May 2019

33 MINS

33:52

22 May 2019


#37

Why do iPhone users judge people with green text bubbles?

Do you scoff at people who appear in iMessage as a green bubble? Or are you the person with the green bubble that has been unaware of your friends secretly judging you? In the season premiere, Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox talk to experts and users about how Apple's design and color choice in iMessage can cause rifts in relationships. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

15 May 2019

35 MINS

35:45

15 May 2019


#36

We’re back this week!

A new season of Why’d You Push That Button? is coming May 15th! Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox will explore more of the tiny decisions that technology forces us to make, like why iPhone users judge people with green bubbles in iMessage; why people use anonymous online accounts; and why anyone would promote a tweet. Also, in a special three-part series, Ashley and Kaitlyn will explore the choices we have to make when it comes to death and the internet. Subscribe to get new episodes every Wednesday! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

13 May 2019

01 MINS

01:13

13 May 2019


#35

Should we be kind to our smart assistants?

Hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany travel to Las Vegas for CES 2019 and chat about what it means to have smart speakers in our homes and as part of our families. Do we need to be kind to them? Director of Product Management for the Google Assistant Lillian Rincon and Editor of Voicebot.ai Bret Kinsella join Ashley and Kaitlyn to give their expert takes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

06 Feb 2019

21 MINS

21:27

06 Feb 2019


#34

Why do you use an exclusive dating app?

It’s the season finale of Why’d You Push That Button, and this week, hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany discuss exclusive dating apps. Unlike Tinder, Facebook Dating, Hinge, or most other dating apps, these exclusive versions require users to apply and then only approve a select group. The most popular exclusive dating apps include Raya and The League. For this episode, Ashley and Kaitlyn want to know why people spend time applying to these services, and why these apps were created. To find out, Ashley talks to her internet pal Lina about her experiences on Raya. Then Kaitlyn talks to her friend Paul about his Raya rejection and eventual success on The League. Finally, the two of them come back together to interview The League’s founder and CEO Amanda Bradford about why she made the app and why she thinks it’s essential. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

09 Jan 2019

45 MINS

45:22

09 Jan 2019


#33

Why do you ask questions anonymously?

My Instagram followers want to know whether I like veggie chips and how many push-ups I can do in a row. The answer is no and one. On this week’s Why’d You Push That Button, Vox.com’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and I (Ashley Carman) discuss anonymous question-and-answer apps — why do people use them, both to ask and receive questions? First, I chat with my pal Vanessa about how they use Instagram’s question and answer feature to build community. Then, Kaitlyn chats with a minor Tumblr celebrity, Klaudia, about how she handles questions she’s asked and how she guides the youth of today through their lives. And finally, I interview Janis Grivins, the COO of Ask.fm, about why people ask anonymous questions and what purpose a masked identity can serve. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

02 Jan 2019

35 MINS

35:31

02 Jan 2019


#32

Why do you post on fake holidays?

The Verge’s Why’d You Push That Button squad is in the holiday spirit, so in this week’s episode, hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany discuss hashtag holidays. You might not know the term, but you definitely know the phenomenon. Maybe you’ve seen people participate in #NationalSiblingsDay, or #WorldNutellaDay, or maybe even #NationalBoyfriendDay. Why do people post, and why do they use those hashtags? Also, who invents these holidays? Kaitlyn and Ashley chat with one of their producers, Bridget Armstrong, and her family to get their take on hashtag holidays and their Facebook posts about them. Then they talk with Lizz Kannenberg, the director of brand strategy at Sprout Social, about brands’ role in these holidays. Copywriters are infusing holidays into our lexicon with no one to stop them! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

26 Dec 2018

32 MINS

32:20

26 Dec 2018


#31

Why do you send voice messages?

The people who love voice messages love voice messages. Vox.com’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge’s Ashley Carman aren’t those people. On this week’s Why’d You Push That Button, they discuss voice messages and why people send them. They also try to figure out why people like them in the first place. Ashley talks to her best friend, Casey, about her habit of sending voice messages, and Kaitlyn interviews The Verge’s very own AI reporter James Vincent and his mom, Bridget, about their family texting dynamics. It’s heartwarming. Then, Ashley and Kaitlyn take all that they’ve learned to Djamel Agaoua, the CEO of messaging app Viber, to learn more about why people use voice messages and how they’ve become more popular around the world. Agaoua posits a few theories on why they’ve bloomed in popularity and previews how voice messages will evolve in the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

19 Dec 2018

33 MINS

33:48

19 Dec 2018


#30

How do you choose your emoji skin tone?

How do you choose which emoji skin tone to use? This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman discuss the five emoji skin tones (not counting the default gold option) and how people decide which color best represents them. The tones debuted in 2015, and now, three years later, people have studied how they’re used and how commonly people opt to change the default option. The choice isn’t as simple as you might think. We also change the show up this week. Instead of relying on just two users, we wanted to hear about as many experiences with the emoji as possible, so we have lots of guests. Thank you to all of them for coming on the show, including Ben, J., Jordan, Joshua, Rosie, Soco, and Malachi. We also received lots of emails when looking for guests, so thank you for writing to us. After we hear from everyone, we chat with two expert guests. The first, whose interview is transcribed below, is Alexander Robertson. He’s a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh who published a study — called “Self-representation on Twitter using emoji skin color modifiers” — about skin tone emoji and their usage across Twitter and around the world. Then we chat with Zara Rahman, a linguist and writer, who published a piece called, “The problem with emoji skin tones that no one talks about.” She walks us through her story and how her interviewees felt about the tones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

12 Dec 2018

50 MINS

50:23

12 Dec 2018


#29

What makes a place Instagram-worthy?

What makes you post a photo to Instagram? What space is truly worthy of a post? Are we willing to destroy nature for a good pic? This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman discuss the characteristics that create an Instagram-worthy place. First things first, we talk to former social media manager at The Verge, Zainab Hasnain, about all of the Instagram-oriented pop-ups she’s visited. We also chat with Kristina Alaneisse about parties she hosts at local cool-kid spot China Chalet. Then, as a special treat to wrap up our Instagram mini-series, we have two expert guests. The first is Eliza Brooke, a freelance writer who has incredible design sensibilities. The second is Piera Gelardi, executive creative director and co-founder of Refinery29, about the media company’s 29Rooms exhibition where visitors can play in 29 different rooms and snap some photos while they’re at it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

28 Nov 2018

56 MINS

56:38

28 Nov 2018


#28

What have you bought on Instagram?

It’s nearly Black Friday, and we’re gearing up with a podcast about shopping, of course. This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman discuss Instagram shopping: why do we buy stuff? They chat with Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel about all of the horrible gadgets he’s bought, as well as Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings about how the Instagram algorithm learns what we love and then targets us with it. Then they talk to Choosy, an Instagram-made company that uses software to figure out the hottest clothing trends to beat other brands to market. It’s wild, truly. And finally, they take every question we’ve ever had to Layla Amjadi, a product manager for Instagram Shopping, who explains the shopping product to us and how Instagram is building a “personalized mall” for everyone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

21 Nov 2018

56 MINS

56:34

21 Nov 2018


#27

Who is your Instagram boyfriend?

This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox.com’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman give the people behind the camera some attention. We’re talking about Instagram boyfriends, or simply, the photographers who take everyone’s Instagram photos. The unsung heroes. We want to know how these people feel and how influencers decide who to ask to take their photo. We chat with Meredith Haggerty about the time she hired an Instagram boyfriend for Fashion Week in New York City a couple years ago. She wrote about the experience for Racked— I highly recommend it. Then Kaitlyn talks to a verified influencer couple, Rachel Hope and Alex Sunshine. Rachel is the face behind The Concrete Blonde, and she and Alex have had to navigate their relationship in both a romantic and business way. We’re now obsessed with them and their mutual support for each other. Finally, we chat with Mae Karwowski, the founder of influencer marketing company Obviously. Karwowski walks us through the world of influencers and how they really get their photos taken. Turns out, they love to date within the creative world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

14 Nov 2018

37 MINS

37:05

14 Nov 2018


#26

Why do you text like that?

This week, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman ask why we type the way we do. Are we really that cool? First, they chat with Ashley's friend Laura who also types in all lowercase all the time. Then, Kaitlyn interviews The Verge’s copy editor Kara Verlaney about her thoughts on proper punctuation across the internet and all its forms. Finally, they interview linguist Lauren Collister about whether we’re just psychoanalyzing all of our typing habits for no reason, or if there’s real research around this topic. (Spoiler alert: there is!) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

07 Nov 2018

40 MINS

40:44

07 Nov 2018


#25

Why did you leave the group chat?

Some of us love our group chats. Others of us hate them and would love nothing more than to leave them all. But why do we want to leave? Maybe you’ve had someone leave a group without giving you a reason as to why, and maybe it hurt a little bit. Vox.com’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman are here to help you work through that pain with this episode of Why’d You Push That Button. First, they chat with Ashley's friend Liz who tells us about her current and past group chat drama.  Then Kaitlyn interviews Maggie Lange, who has written for GQ about never leaving group chats, ever.  Kaitlyn and Ashley then take all their concerns to Asha Sharma, director of product management for Messenger, who tells us all about why people actually leave group chats and what the teens are up to these days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

31 Oct 2018

39 MINS

39:19

31 Oct 2018


#24

When is it okay to record someone?

Sometimes you see something happening out in the world, and you feel compelled to record it. You just have to capture it. Is that okay? Legally, are you allowed to record someone without their permission? And what happens if you go viral, then what? It’s murky territory, both legally and as human beings, but we’re going to tackle it on Why’d You Push That Button this week. On this episode, we talk to Porscha Coleman, who recorded an infamous Apple Store Vine, as well as Carlye Wisel, who was once fashion-shamed on Snapchat by a stranger. They have completely opposite beliefs on recording, and we love to facilitate a debate. Then we talk to a couple experts — Jennifer Ellis, a lawyer, and Katherine Cross, a sociologist — who help us figure out when we can record and why we feel like we have to capture other people. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

24 Oct 2018

55 MINS

55:42

24 Oct 2018


#23

Why do you delete your tweets?

Why’d You Push That Button is back for season 3, and our first episode is a relatively serious one. Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and I catch up on our summers and then dive into everyone’s favorite social media platform: Twitter. We need to discuss tweets. Are they worth deleting, or should we preserve our limited-character history? Who needs to worry about their tweets? What happens if a potential employer searches your Twitter? What will they find? Kaitlyn and Ashley reflect on their tweet history, and we take it to other users and experts. First, they talk to Max Read, an editor at New York Magazine, and then they chat with Brianna Wu, a woman who ran for Congress this year and was previously a target of Gamergate. Then they talk to Alison Green of the Ask A Manager website / book / podcast universe. (She is Ask A Manager!) And they wrap the show chatting with Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine, which attempts to archive the web. It’s true: you could think you deleted a tweet only to discover someone else on the internet has already saved it for you. A truly spooky possibility in the spirit of Halloween. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

17 Oct 2018

52 MINS

52:52

17 Oct 2018


#22

How do you break up on Instagram?

The time has come, everyone. Summer is basically here, and Why’d You Push That Buttonis wrapping season two just in time for us to get our butts to the beach. But before we do, we have an episode for you. It’s about relationships, Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, and breakups. I would say this is our “personal” episode. We came to talk about whether the Facebook relationship status matters anymore, and we get some answers. Definitely. First we talk to Nayomi Reghay, The Daily Dots’ advice columnist, about whether caring about being official on Facebook or Instagram is dumb. She also gives us advice, which I appreciated. Then we talk to one of Kaitlyn’s sister’s friends, Megan, who brings us back down to earth and explains what the youth think of relationship statuses. Finally, we chat with Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber of the podcast Who? Weekly about how celebrities handle becoming official with a new boo. With press releases, magazine covers, paparazzi photos, Instagram, Facebook, and the Notes app at their disposal, how do they announce a new relationship? More crucially, how do they break up? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

15 May 2018

43 MINS

43:11

15 May 2018


#21

Have you turned off push notifications?

I’m deeming this year the year of the push notification solely because of the disaster that was Hawaii’s accidental ballistic missile alert. On this week’s Why’d You Push That Button, Kaitlyn Tiffany and I look into why people turn push notifications on, especially for news. Are they masochists? What makes us turn them off? I don’t hate push notifications, so much as I wish they were more targeted and accurate. Kaitlyn resolutely hates them, and that’s fine. This episode packs a lot of content and interviews into 40 minutes, so settle in with enough water and snacks to make it through. We first talk to two women and friends who were in Hawaii when that terrible push was sent — Emily and Meghan. Then we talk to New York Times writer John Herrman about his feelings on pushes, as well as his essay on red dots. Once we get out all our thoughts, we take it to two experts: Eric Bishop, who also works at The New York Times and strategizes its push strategy, and Christopher Dean, CEO of the company Swrve, which specializes in push notification technology. He explains how push technology might get more sophisticated in the near future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

08 May 2018

46 MINS

46:47

08 May 2018