Holiday Break Homework

Hopefully you’re getting some time off in the next couple of weeks.

Here are some suggestions for how to spend that time unplugging while getting a leg up on 2020…

  1. UNPLUG: Pick at least two days you won’t check your work email. Delete it from your phone if you don’t have the willpower not to look. You’re on PTO. It’s okay to take TWO DAYS OFF from checking it.
  2. GOAL SETTING: Write down 1-3 goals for Q1. Share them with your mentor, and/or post them online. Accountability goes a long way. Don’t worry about planning for the whole year. Setting some achievable goals for January, February and March is plenty.
  3. GEN Z YOUTUBE TRENDS CRASH COURSE: Ask your niece and nephews who their favorite YouTubers are. Watch a couple episodes with them. Don’t judge. Study. Ask them which YouTubers they used to like and why they don’t anymore. Watch a couple episodes of those. Don’t shame them; just ask questions and learn.
  4. TIKTOK 101: Download TikTok and spend at least 20 minutes watching videos. Don’t judge. Study. Record a TikTok and publish it privately. You don’t have to show anyone, but start to figure out the mechanics of how remix memes work.  Here are some tips for getting started.
  5. NEWS SOURCE RESEARCH: If you’re spending time with family, try to find a way to suss out where they get their news (without judging anyone or letting conversation get political!). Do they watch local TV news? What do they like about it? Do they watch the commercials? What news sources are they following on social media? How do they feel about the changing nature of facts? Keep it to yourself, but what did you learn from watching how they consumed media while you were together? Holiday gatherings can be a rare opportunity to intimately study a cross section of different types of people about how they get information and how it shapes their behavior.
  6. TEST REAL-TIME TRANSLATIONS: The updated Google Assistant app for iOS and Android includes a new “Interpreter Mode” that brings real-time translation to your phone. It’s truly revolutionary, and you have to try it out! Download Google Assistant. Open the app and tell it the language you want it to translate (e.g., “Hey Google, be my Spanish translator”). Just amazing.
  7. VR 101: Go to your local VR Arcade and spend some time in 6DOF (six degrees of freedom, aka ‘walk around’ VR). Bring a young person to the experience with you. Watch their behavior as they go through the experiences. Afterward, ask them the differences between real life and virtual reality. See if they can come up with more than three observations (bet they can’t). 
  8. THOSE MOTHER-F-ING SNAKES: Spend $.99 and install Samuel L. Jackson’s voice on your Alexa. Enable cursing mode. Make Samuel Jackson scream the F-word throughout your home. It’s the best <$1.00 investment you’ll make all year.


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