Up, Up, and Uptime Away


Internet Warriors

One of our recent surveys found that nearly 9 in 10 people feel that we should listen more to those with different opinions, and now The Guardian is giving us a chance to practice what we preach. Their newly released short film, “Internet Warriors,” chronicles filmmaker Kyrre Lien’s three-year journey around the world as he attempts to understand internet trolls and uncover the humanity lurking behind the hate. From US deserts to the cliffs of Norway, Lien meets all kinds of online haters who actually seem pretty normal IRL but hold extreme, illogical beliefs that they spread online. While in no way do we condone the values and actions of these trolls, we are intrigued by this glimpse into the dark side of digital culture and hope viewers are challenged by Lien’s ultimate takeaway from the project: Not only are many of these people are very lonely and feel that society has left them behind, they have also been victims of bullying themselves.


Snapchat Everest Climb

Fun fact: taking the first Snapchat from the top of Mount Everest is a record still waiting to be broken, but that may soon be accomplished by professional climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards. Sponsored by Eddie Bauer and Strava, a social network for athletes, the daring duo made headlines last year for attempting the same feat without using supplemental oxygen, only to be thwarted by health issues (fewer than 200 people have ever completed the climb without oxygen) and a dead cell phone at 29,000 feet. This time, the pair will be better equipped with previous experience and a stronger satellite system, which they’ll use to stream their journey on Snapchat and upload real-time performance data such as route, distance, time, pace, and heart rate to Strava. The epic redemption climb is set to take place on April 8th and is sure to be the most dramatic Snap Story you’ve seen all day.


The Modist

If the rise of full coverage bikini bottoms and embracing the burka are any indication, modesty is taking hold in fashion. Partly due to increased refugee and religious populations in Western countries as well as the rise in female execs looking for work-appropriate yet trendy pieces, modest fashion is projected to become a $484-billion-dollar market by 2019. One of the early adopters of this trend is new e-retailer The Modist, specializing in conservative yet contemporary clothing for the luxury consumer. Fittingly launched on International Women’s Day and helmed by CEO and founder Ghizlan Guenez, the site and its accompanying magazine, The Mod, showcases modest upscale apparel from well-known designers such as Alberta Ferretti and Christopher Kane. While we can’t promise that the Kardashians are suddenly going to stop rocking bodycon, we’re excited to see the fashion industry continuing to serve women of different backgrounds and tastes.



From meditation studios to internet memes, the self-care movement continues to grow as people search for new methods of attaining mindfulness, inner peace, and a sense of control. Those looking to curl up with a cup of tea and one of the best books on the subject need look no further than Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Speakers by Suze Yalof Schwartz, founder of LA-based Unplug Meditation. This newly released guide aims to make the practice of slowing down accessible to all, from showing how profound and practical meditation can be in modern society to debunking myths surrounding the ancient practice. Available in Kindle and Hardcover, it’s a small price to pay for a happier, healthier life.



Watching videos online has now become a more social experience thanks to Uptime, a new iOS app allowing users to watch YouTube videos with friends in real time. A product of Google’s internal incubator, Area 120, Uptime is particularly relevant to video-loving Gen Vs with its colorful design and reaction features (comments and emojis), which were inspired by live-streaming services Periscope and Facebook Live. As users watch videos, their profile icon floats along the screen, allowing them to post reactions that are shared instantly with fellow viewers and saved for those who end up tuning in later. Another plus, users can share these videos on other social media sites, thereby attracting more newcomers to the app and helping YouTube decide whether these types of features should have a more permanent place on the platform.


Iceland's Advance towards Equal Pay

According to the 2016 World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report, Iceland is the most gender-equal nation in the world, yet women in the country still earn 14% to 18% less than their male counterparts. Thankfully, that’s all about to change: on International Women's Day, Iceland became the first country in the world to require companies with over 25 employees to prove that all workers in the same position are paid equally regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. While Iceland isn’t the first country to introduce a call to action like this, they are the first to put their money where their mouth and lead the charge to close the gender pay gap by 2022. U.S. government, your move!

Kristin Castillo