current location: Home > b7

How to make sure your phone works when you travel internationally

2023-04-06 17:26:47

How to make sure your phone works when you travel internationally

You've got a brand-new passport and you're ready to finally leave your home country to see something new. Overseas travel can be a ton of fun, but there are also a bunch of considerations you need to make before doing it. One of these is making sure your phone works.

How to make sure your phone works when you travel internationally(图1)

A smartphone is a great way to find things to do, maneuver your way around, and generally document your journey abroad. How are you going to get those Instagram posts off if your phone doesn't work? Maybe you'd like to call a loved one and tell them how things are going, too. That's probably more important.

Unfortunately, you can't just bring your phone as-is to another country and expect it to work without a hitch. That's not how the world works. You probably won't need to get a brand new phone just for your trip, but the options for using your normal phone vary by both convenience and price.

Thankfully, this is something people do every day. As such, there are some well-established and fairly simple ways to just keep using your regular phone in another country. You just have to know what to do, and that's where we come in.

Here are some ways you can use your phone overseas.

Make sure your phone will work

This should be less of a problem for those with recent smartphones, but there's always a possibility your phone won't be compatible with different cell frequencies around the world. This is because of the mobile standards known as GSM and CDMA.

The technical differences between the two are a bit much to get into here, but PCMag(Opens in a new tab) has a helpful guide to that if you're interested. Just know that a GSM-compliant phone is more likely to work around the world than a CDMA-compliant phone, and if your phone is recent enough, you probably don't need to worry about that.

If you don't feel like doing a bunch of homework but you still want to have all your bases covered, you can always call your phone company to verify your phone will work overseas. Otherwise, you can find out with enough internet research; Apple, for example, has a page for this on its website(Opens in a new tab). There's also a trip planner tool with this issue in mind on Verizon's website(Opens in a new tab).

Check your carrier's options

Every mobile service provider understands that their customers might need to travel overseas on occasion and has specific service plans in place for this. On paper, this seems great. You don't have to buy anything or mess with your phone to make it work abroad because your service carrier will just make it work on their end.

The only problem is the price.

SEE ALSO: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 pushes all-screen phones to their limits

This will vary from carrier to carrier, but international plans can be expensive and not always that great. With major carriers like AT&T(Opens in a new tab), Sprint(Opens in a new tab) and Verizon(Opens in a new tab), you're generally looking at about $10 per day and per device in most countries.

As The Wirecutter(Opens in a new tab) pointed out, these can come with data allowances, which can be annoying depending on how much you're using your phone while you travel. In general, these kinds of plans might be more useful for short overseas trips. If you plan on being away from the U.S. for a week or more, you should really consider our next option.

Look into getting a local SIM card

One of these little guys will be your best friend outside of the country. Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm

The cheapest and best way to use your phone in another country is almost always going to be with a local SIM card. In case you're unfamiliar, SIM stands for "subscriber identity module" and the SIM card in your phone is what lets you go online, make calls, so on and so forth.

The card in your current phone lets you do those things in your home country, but it won't fly elsewhere. Thankfully, you can pretty easily get one that's tuned to wherever you're going upon arrival.

You should probably do some location-specific research to find out the best place to get a local SIM card before you travel, but at least in some cases, you can get them right at the airport. For instance, a friend of mine recently took a week-long trip to the U.K. and picked one up at Heathrow Airport.

In total, it cost them about $30 USD to get a month's worth of phone use on a local network. Their phone number temporarily changed, but it reverted right back once they got home and put their old SIM card back in.

The only potential headaches here are finding a store to get a SIM card and making sure your phone is unlocked. You should contact your carrier ahead of time and see if they can unlock your phone so SIM installation is as painless as possible.

Oh, and make sure your phone lets you remove your SIM card at all. There should be a little slot on the side, but not every phone will be your friend in this regard. Better safe than sorry.

Website of this article:

Go to Baidu to see more

Comments from netizens


contact us



Popular articles


  • The internet made sooooo many jokes about Trumps fake news trophy tweet

    The internet made sooooo many jokes about Trumps fake news trophy tweet


    Perhaps the biggest bummer about Twitter's new 280-character limit is that it allows the current president to compose tweets like this one:

    On Monday morning, President Donald Trump hit Twitter to suggest a "FAKE NEWS TROPHY" for whichever news network he deems produces "the most dishonest, corrupt" coverage of his presidency. As usual, Fox was excluded from Trump's media rage.

    In the same tweet, Trump referred to himself as the American people's favorite president with a parenthetical "(me)." According the most recent Gallup(opens in a new tab) poll, the self-described "favorite" president's approval rating currently sits at 37 percent.

    Naturally the internet jumped all over Trump's first tweet of the day. Some even have a solid suggestion for Trump's proposed "FAKE NEWS TROPHY":


  • Project Entrepreneur expands accelerator program to help more women entrepreneurs build scalable com

    Project Entrepreneur expands accelerator program to help more women entrepreneurs build scalable companies


    Since launching in 2015, Project Entrepreneur(opens in a new tab) — a media partner of Mashable — has trained more than 1,200 aspiring entrepreneurs representing 131 U.S. cities. Its annual venture competition has yielded an alumnae community of nearly 400 women entrepreneurs, with the 2016 finalists reporting $10+ million raised in seed and pre-seed funding.

    Now entering its third year, Project Entrepreneur (PE) — an initiative from the Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs(opens in a new tab) — is expanding the number of winning companies in the accelerator from three to five.

    “We are so excited to continue working with UBS in providing women with the tools they need to create high-growth companies, and see their visions through,” said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway. “Past participants in our accelerator continue to inspire us with their incredible progress, including closing rounds of funding. We are eager to provide the next class of talented female founders with the tools and support they need to scale, and to see the disruption their companies bring to various different industries.”

    PE's annual venture competition is open to female founders who are in the prototype or beta stages, have their first paying customers, or are generating revenue. The top 200 applicants will be invited to attend the PE Intensive in New York City on April 13-14, 2018, a free two-day event comprised of in-depth workshops, expert speakers and a pitch competition. The five winning founders will each receive a $10,000 grant, a spot in the five-week accelerator program at Rent the Runway’s New York office and mentorship and engagement with UBS executives, entrepreneurs, and investors. Founders interested can apply online(opens in a new tab); but don’t wait, as the deadline is December 1st!

    Last year’s winning companies included: New York-based LOLI Beauty(opens in a new tab), the first BIY (Blend It Yourself) clean and green beauty brand; Scottsdale-based The Touchpoint Solution(opens in a new tab), a neuroscience wearable that alleviates stress by altering the body’s stress response in as little as 30 seconds; and San Francisco-based Lace & Liberty(opens in a new tab), merging direct-to-consumer convenience with luxury bespoke bridalwear. Two additional New York-based companies were hosted by The Knot/XO Group Co-Founder Carley Roney and designer Rebecca Minkoff: Repeat Roses(opens in a new tab), a sustainable floral waste removal business that gives back to people and planet, and Reboundwear(opens in a new tab), athleisure wear with a purpose, respectively.


    “The caliber of companies we're seeing through Project Entrepreneur further validates what we've always believed — that there is an incredible population of talented female founders in cities and towns across the country,” said Lori Feinsilver, UBS Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas. “Being able to reach these women and provide them with access to resources and support that will help fuel their growth gives us confidence that we can indeed level the playing field.”

    Visit in a new tab) for details on Project Entrepreneur’s Venture Competition, and check out PE’s resources including #theTools podcast(opens in a new tab), blog posts(opens in a new tab) and educational modules(opens in a new tab).

    This article is part of a media partnership between Mashable & Project Entrepreneur. For more information, visit here(opens in a new tab).

  • Two people trying to run the same government agency makes for a really awkward first day

    Two people trying to run the same government agency makes for a really awkward first day


    Revolutionaries, take note -- if you're planning a government takeover, please use high quality breakfast pastries.

    That's a lesson that White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney(opens in a new tab) apparently hadn't learned when he stepped into the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau today. He was there to take on an additional job as the agency's director.

    The only problem? The agency's acting director, Leandra English, refused to cede it to him, in the workplace drama of the decade.

    As a Trump appointee, Mulvaney wasn't exactly welcomed at at the job, so he brought crappy Dunkin' Donuts as a way to "ease" himself into an agency he's expected to destroy.

    SEE ALSO: Sorry, Cards Against Humanity can't stop Trump's wall

    On Friday, Director Richard Cordray(opens in a new tab) stepped down, leaving English to serve as acting director. Last night, English filed a lawsuit claiming that she is the "rightful acting director" of the agency. English has asked the court to impose a temporary restraining order to prevent Trump from appointing anyone, arguing that she is entitled to her position under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Law(opens in a new tab).

    None of that stopped Mulvaney. On Monday, the Budget Director stepped into the CFPB, ready to take on his new job.

    This is how English responded in an email sent to 1,600 staff.

    "I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving in mind, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude to all of you for your service,” English said(opens in a new tab), signing the note with her title, "Acting Director."

    And that, my friends, is what we call a death drop.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    Here's how Mulvaney responded:

    “Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as acting director.” Mulvaney said(opens in a new tab). “I apologize for this being the very first thing you hear from me. However, under the circumstances I suppose it is necessary. If you’re at 1700 G Street today, please stop by the fourth floor to say hello and grab a doughnut.”

    If Mulvaney, a budget hawk, thinks he can sway members of an agency whose jobs he's poised to eliminate with Dunkin' Donuts, he's out of his mind. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(opens in a new tab) was explicitly designed to protect consumers from banks and credit card companies. Mulvaney once famously called the agency "sad" and "sick." He is not, as members of the agency likely know, their friend.

    And dude, if you're going to try and win your staff over with breakfast pastries, at least go for something slightly more delicious than Dunkin'. Some suggestions:

    • Krispy Kreme

    • (图2)

      Entenmann's Coffee Cake

    • Savory bacon cheddar scones

    • Literally anything else

    The case is currently being decided. In the meantime, here's Twitter's majority opinion on the issue:

    Chef José Andrés, the man who single-handedly served 3 million meals to Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria, had the best response of them all.

    Case closed.

  • Woman posts video of crocodile attack, and it is heartstopping

    Woman posts video of crocodile attack, and it is heartstopping


    Welp, this is a close call.

    A tourist was bitten on the leg by a crocodile on at Cape Tribulation in Queensland, Australia on Monday night, while standing on a creek bank close to the waters edge.

    SEE ALSO: Maybe don't get a photo with your friends inside a crocodile trap

    A Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) spokesperson said in a statement the crocodile was estimated to be 2 to 2.5 metres (78 to 98 inches) long.

    A video posted on the Facebook page of Ally Bullifent shows the crocodile attack, which comes out of nowhere. It'll be sure to give you a shock.


    The EHP said it would carry out a site assessment of the area on Tuesday, and will possibly target the crocodile "for removal" as it has displayed dangerous behaviour in a designated area. This means it'll be moved to a crocodile farm or a zoo, according to the Cairns Post(opens in a new tab).

    For authorities, it also serves as a reminder about staying safe in areas where crocodiles might be around. Earlier this year, an 18-year-old boy was attacked by a crocodile while reportedly trying to impress a girl.

  • Town crier who announced Prince Harrys engagement to Meghan Markle is 100% fake

    Town crier who announced Prince Harrys engagement to Meghan Markle is 100% fake


    England, with its quirky traditions and old-fashioned customs, is a land of endless fascination for outsiders, nominally for people from the former colony of the U.S.

    SEE ALSO: The most adorable revelations from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first interview

    So it's understandable why a town crier -- with his elaborate, red and gold robed dress and tricorn hat -- attracted people's attention on social media when he was depicted in an ABC News video as he announces the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement outside of Buckingham Palace:

    "Oyez, oyez, oyz!" He yells in the video. "Buckingham Palace is proud to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. God save the Queen!" 

    It can't get any more British than this.

    Business Insider posted a similar video, calling him "the Royal Town Crier":

    However, it turns out the eccentric guy is not officially appointed by the Queen, nor is he a real town crier. His real name is Tony Appleton, from Romford, east London, and he's been making royal announcements for years, bell and scroll on hand.


    In 2013, he fooled prominent American broadcasters(opens in a new tab) including Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper when he announced the birth of Prince William and Kate's firstborn, Prince George, outside St. Mary's Hospital.

    "I'm a royalist. I love the royal family," he told (opens in a new tab)AP(opens in a new tab), while acknowledging he had no official royal role. "I came unannounced."

    Still, many Americans fell for it:

  • Cheeky theory is the best explanation yet for the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement

    Cheeky theory is the best explanation yet for the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement


    News of the engagement between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle caught Americans' imagination just like any other story about the British royals -- births, anniversaries, celebrations, jubilees, and so on.

    SEE ALSO: 'Town crier' who announced Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle is 100% fake

    But what if behind the jolly facade of a couple in love wishing to declare their commitment before God and the nation there's an actual conspiracy to reclaim a former colony, lost in a never-forgotten, embittered war?

    That's the joke Greg Pollowitz, editor at, dug up to explain the royal announcement:

    Meghan Markle is American, so the future offspring will be Americans! Da-daam! Boom! Mic drop!

    via GIPHY(opens in a new tab)

    It was just a cheeky tweet, but it went absolutely viral and people just loved it:

    There was the obvious Brexit reference:


    As well as the Trump one:

    Some conjectured a crossover between two incredibly popular TV shows:

    But in general the tweets reacting to the joke were just hilarious:

    While someone took it a bit too seriously:

  • Dog, sick and tired of waiting in car, slams his paw on the horn

    Dog, sick and tired of waiting in car, slams his paw on the horn


    It will be a long time before America finally grants dogs the right to drive.

    Until then, dogs will have to do what they can to keep themselves entertained. Take this pup, who was recently left alone in a parking lot in " target="_blank">Nanaimo, British Columbia(opens in a new tab), and slammed its paw on the car horn out of exhaustion. And then it kept it there. For a long time.

    SEE ALSO: Calm your dogs down with this fabulous doggy leotard

    The video was captured by Joris Wiggers and posted on Facebook by Elizabeth Herman(opens in a new tab). It's not entirely clear that the dog knows how to get his paw off the horn, but no problem, doggo, that's what driver's permits are for.


    Can someone please call this dog an Uber?

  • Arbys bought Buffalo Wild Wings, so heres what a combined menu would look like

    Arbys bought Buffalo Wild Wings, so heres what a combined menu would look like


    On Tuesday it was announced that Arby's owner Roark Capital will acquire(opens in a new tab) Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.4 billion (or roughly(opens in a new tab) 162,271,805 orders of BWW House Samplers).

    Per Reuters(opens in a new tab), though the wings restaurant will become property of Arby's, it'll still operate on its own.

    SEE ALSO: This edible Alien Facehugger chicken will haunt your dreams

    We think this is a huge mistake.

    Consider the disturbing menu possibilities a marriage of Arby's meats and BWW wings might afford us.

    Our suggestions for this menu full of abominations below:

    • A half-pound Beef 'N Cheddar sandwich dipped in Bourbon Honey Mustard sauce, rolled in Desert Heat seasoning and deep fried

    • An entire smoked brisket coated in Blazin' hot sauce and served whole on a bed of deep-fried Cheddar Cheese Curds

    • Potato cakes drenched in Wild sauce

    • Beer-battered roast beef tacos

    • An Arby's House Sampler, featuring 12 classic Roast Beef sandwiches stacked in a pyramid

    • A Crispy Chicken Farmhouse Salad dressed with Hot BBQ sauce

    • (图2)

      Boneless Wings coated in Cheddar Cheese sauce

    • A Corned Beef 'N Cheese Slider cut up into pieces and sprinkled over Buffalo Mac & Cheese

    • A Cheese Curd Bacon Burger with a Pizza Slider speared on top

    • Every Arby's slider stacked in a tower and adhered to each another with smears of Parmesan Garlic sauce

    • The pastry shell of an Apple Turnover, filled with the B-Dubs Blender shake flavor of your choice

    • A large Ultimate Chocolate Shake blended with a slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake and drizzled over a plate of Dessert Nachos

    • Cheesecake Bites

  • Cops share photo of a driver that went a little too hard with their Christmas tree

    Cops share photo of a driver that went a little too hard with their Christmas tree


    Look, if you want to cut down a massive Christmas tree, and stick it up inside your two-story living room, go for it. But maybe don't endanger anyone's life in the process.

    Police in Massachusetts put up a post on their Facebook page on Friday, reminding people to please transport their Christmas trees safely. They really shouldn't have to do this, but here we are.

    SEE ALSO: Upside down Christmas trees are trending, and the internet is outraged

    "One of our officer's stopped this vehicle on Route 20 today," the cops said on Facebook(opens in a new tab), posting a photo of what appears to be a Prius topped with a Christmas tree.

    The tree is so large, it completely obstructs the view of the side and rear windows. It's not clearly visible, but we're also guessing that it wasn't tied down very well.


    While the tree transport was outrageous to say the least, most people in the comments were upset that the police decided to call the tree a "holiday tree" instead of a Christmas tree.

  • The best Maxine Waters moments of 2017

    The best Maxine Waters moments of 2017


    2017 was the year Congresswoman Maxine Waters was elected president of All in With Chris Hayes.

    From the moment she declared that the director of the FBI had "no legitimacy" and then death dropped in front of a gaggle of shellshocked reporters, 79-year-old Auntie Maxine has had our blood loyalty. Every floor she walked on in 2017, whether it was in the Capitol or at the MTV Movie Awards, became her stage and ultimately, a property in her empire.

    More so than any other "deplorable" president with a Ziploc bag of fleas for a brain, Maxine Waters was the de facto leader of the free world/MSNBC in 2017.

    SEE ALSO: Interview: Maxine Waters thinks millennials can change politics for everyone (yes, everyone)

    Congresswoman Waters gave us so many viral gifts in 2017. Here are just a few of them.

    1. The time she accused James Comey of having no credibility and then just walked on out

    2. When she revealed that she was "never going to go" to Trump's Inauguration because, "I don't honor him, I don't respect him and I don't want to be involved with him."

    3. The time she was asked what she would do once she was done impeaching Trump, and she replied: "Impeach Pence."

    4. When she delivered MTV's first ever "Best Fight Against the System" award, did a plié, and got a standing ovation.

    5. When she tweeted that it was time for our "racist throwback" Attorney General to go back "to the plantation"

    6. Her "Bye, Felicia" moment

    7. When she busted out this stunner of jean jacket, rose pants ensemble at the Tax March

    Credit: tom williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

    8. When she started railing against Trump and told a room full of supporters, "We've got to stop his ass"

    9. The moment she just said it:


    10. And the tweet that did it too:

    11. That day Bill O'Reilly tried to humiliate Auntie Maxine and just ... lol, sorry bro. She can't be intimidated.

    12. When she "reclaimed her time" from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

    13. So the internet did too

    14. And the Women's March made "Reclaiming my time" the theme of a whole convention

    Credit: rachel woolf/The Washington Post/Getty Images

    15. When Congresswoman Maxine Waters finally passed on her torch to the generation that needs it the most.

Random articles


  • In loving memory of Joe Keerys hair, gone but not forgotten

    In loving memory of Joe Keerys hair, gone but not forgotten


    It's with heavy hearts that we report Joe Keery, whose luscious hair sent teenagers and grown adults alike swooning, got bangs.

    The Stranger Things star appeared at a dinner hosted by Chanel with the remains of his once-glorious hair hacked away. What was left can only be described as a Will Byers-esque bowl cut complete with choppy FRINGE BANGS. His hair, known for its voluminous waves, also appears straightened.

    Let's just take a moment of silence to remember a legend.

    What prompted Keery to get rid of his signature mullet, the one characteristic that single-handedly carved him a spot in America's collective heart? The man once gave a detailed interview(Opens in a new tab) to GQ, describing the very process that breathed life into his hair, and told the reporter, "Do I get recognized? I guess it depends on if I’m wearing a hat or not. The hairdo(Opens in a new tab) is a dead giveaway. There’s nothing I can do. It’s just the way my hair grows."


    SEE ALSO: The curse of incomplete makeup removal in skincare videos comes for Millie Bobby Brown

    Was he tired of being recognized in the street? Did he want to blend in with the skaters of Los Angeles, who don't have time for the hairspray and wash schedule that Keery spent the last two years adhering to? Did he go through some sort of crisis in the Upside Down that prompted him to get bangs?

    Maybe he's following in the footsteps of another hair legend, Harry Styles. Styles recently devastated fans worldwide when he cut off(Opens in a new tab) his signature Big Hair in favor of scraggly bowl cut.

    Whatever it was that prompted him to do it, fans are mourning the loss.


    Joe, we'll be here for you when the Hair is back. But until then, we'll be keening in a corner and draping black shrouds over every hairdryer, mousse, and wide-tooth comb we find.

  • Well, that incredible optical illusion at the Louvre has been destroyed by the public

    Well, that incredible optical illusion at the Louvre has been destroyed by the public


    It took four days, 400 volunteers, and around 2,000 pieces of paper to install, and within a day, the public had destroyed it all.

    But hey, it was always going to happen, according to the artist.

    Taking over the main courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, the installation was the work of French street artist JR, as he is only known by.

    SEE ALSO: Every Louvre artwork featured in Beyoncé and Jay-Z's 'Apesh*t' video

    Commissioned as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Louvre Pyramid, the work is a giant paper collage surrounding the structure.

    Although the museum itself dates back to the 12th century(Opens in a new tab), the Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-born U.S. architect I.M. Pei, was officially opened on Mar. 30, 1989.

    It's an optical illusion, which "reveals" an image of the courtyard's foundation where the pyramid was erected. It resembles an otherworldly archaeological dig, and it sure is something:


    JR posted multiple images of the work from the perfect sky-high viewpoint, one which honoured his late friend, Belgian-born French artist Agnès Varda, who died on Saturday aged 90 years — check out the 2017 Oscar-nominated documentary Faces Places for a delightful look at their work together.

    Between Tuesday, Mar. 26 and Friday, Mar. 29, JR invited 400 volunteers to assist with the installation, his largest collage to date.

    According to The (Opens in a new tab)Guardian(Opens in a new tab), the work spanned over 183,000 square feet, and was made completely out of paste and around 2,000 pieces of paper.

    Volunteer workers help set up the giant photographic work. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

    Being made of paper, however, the work was not to be long-lived after its Saturday reveal, with most of it destroyed underfoot by visitors to the work. By Sunday, it was toast. But according to the artist, it wasn't meant to last.

    "The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own," wrote(Opens in a new tab) JR on Twitter. "The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers."


    It wasn't the first time JR has created an eye-popping optical illusion using the Louvre Pyramid — he made it disappear in 2016.(Opens in a new tab)

    At least we have pictures, we guess.

  • Watch a mob of golf spectators swarm Tiger Woods as he clinches first win in five years

    Watch a mob of golf spectators swarm Tiger Woods as he clinches first win in five years


    Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer ever, tasted victory on the PGA Tour for the first time in five years on Sunday.

    The victory at the Tour Championship in Atlanta(opens in a new tab) set off a frenzy across the sports world and social media as Woods notched his first win since 2013, an interim in which he underwent multiple back surgeries.


    SEE ALSO: Sports Twitter is a fun and weird haven from an often bleak news cycle

    But that was nothing compared to the commotion that surrounded Woods as he walked up the fairway at the 18th hole at the East Lake Golf Club with a throng of spectators following closely behind and roaring in approval at his impending victory.


    There's no rest for Woods after career win number 80 as he and several other golfers representing the U.S. are already in France, prepping for this week's Ryder Cup competition(opens in a new tab).

  • The artist behind the Awards for Good Boys Instagram isnt afraid to piss off her trolls

    The artist behind the Awards for Good Boys Instagram isnt afraid to piss off her trolls


    The most online among us have heard the adage. "Don't feed the trolls," people say. When someone attacks you online, don't respond. Don't engage. That's what they want.

    This is not Shelby Lorman's approach. The writer and artist, who runs the delightful Instagram account Awards for Good Boys(opens in a new tab) and has a book forthcoming from Penguin Random House, frequently reposts and riffs on DMs from people -- usually white men -- who feel compelled to weigh in on her work.

    Lorman, 24, started the Awards for Good Boys account in 2017. Since then, she's been posting regular cartoons skewering the "good boy"(opens in a new tab): the ostensibly "progressive" dude whose shitty treatment of actual people doesn't dovetail with his performative feminist politics.

    Considering the immense pile of filth that makes up so much of the internet, it's not surprising that Lorman's DMs are full of harassment. Her work, after all, critiques the men who do the absolute minimum, the self-proclaimed "woke" dudes who are all talk at best. As one might expect, the "good boys" aren't the best at fielding criticism -- and their entitled commentary has fueled much of Lorman's recent work.

    View this post on Instagram



    (opens in a new tab)

    "A lot of people will be like, 'I used to like your stuff, but this comic about emotional labor just paints women as nitpicky cunts, and you're doing a disservice to everyone,'" Lorman says. "Like, 'why are you so angry? Why are you so bitter?' A lot of that happens around stuff that's nuanced."

    SEE ALSO: Jouelzy is here to talk — and whether you're a #SmartBrownGirl or not, you should listen

    She points to a post about catcalling(opens in a new tab) as an example. "People [in her DMs] were like, 'You’re advocating for a world in which no one gives compliments!' No, I'm just saying street harassment is not cool," she says. "People are ready to skip the nuance and make some humongous claim about my work."

    In most cases, skipping the nuance involves re-centering blame -- for a disagreement in the comments section or on society's ills -- on anyone but men. "[People] blame women for choosing the bad men," she explains, "or our anger, or the culture right now. The immediate urge to blame anyone but the obvious population I'm talking about is really intense."

    So Lorman turns the tables on her trolls. Instead of ignoring them, she posts their DMs on her own Instagram account. Sometimes, readers will even send her their own text conversations, with messages so clearly written by "good boy" types that she'll post them alongside her own illustrations: a hilarious IRL example alongside the concept.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    Humor is a big part of Lorman's approach to creativity in a hostile online space. "I think that in some cases, humor can be really effective in pointing out the irony of someone’s argument … or why it was absurd," Lorman says. "I'm never trying to shoot down what someone is saying for the content of it. It's about the way someone chooses to deliver it."

    But Lorman also sees the grain of truth within the "don't feed the trolls" argument, particularly when someone is coming from a place of bad faith. "It's a mixed bag, because humor is really essential for me to be able to cope with what people are saying," she says. "But I also know it feeds their narrative."

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    She's also aware of how difficult it is to communicate effectively on Instagram, particularly about an issue as huge and fraught as harassment. For example, Lorman says that while her trolls aren't 100 percent men, she doesn't post as much about the women who are angry about her work. It boils down to caution: On a platform where engagement is brief, she doesn't want to dilute her message. "I have such a small window to let people understand how fucked up our heteronormative relationships are," she says. "I'm wary to be like, 'Oh, no. Women do this shit, too.'"

    That's partially why Lorman is so excited about her book. She'll have space to explore her experience online with far more nuance -- and without the constant back-and-forth inherent to social media.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)
    SEE ALSO: Joana Ceddia went viral and brought back the spirit of old YouTube

    "For some people, Instagram debates get confusing," she says. "Someone told me recently that I was just creating drama, and that's not what they came to my page to see. So I'm very excited to have the space to explain why perpetual harassment is not drama, and why calling it out is also not drama. It's that I don't want to hear people's feedback -- I genuinely do -- but it is nice to think about a book space where [critics] will have to decide to deliberately contact me. They can't just shoot off a comment into the void."

    "Perpetual harassment is not drama, and calling it out is also not drama."

    Lorman realizes that, despite the harassment she faces, she's in a pretty good spot compared to some of her peers. "I don’t know any woman who has any modicum of visibility online who isn’t constantly dealing with either people being like 'this sucks' or violent harassment," she says. She's also aware that she has the space and security to discuss her experiences in a way that others do not.

    "I have a friend who is an activist and educator, and if she posts something about harassment, [the comments] get violent," she says. "She's a black woman. And this stuff just perpetuates violence offline."

    Lorman does think there is hope for the internet. What she's less sure about is what all of us are less sure about -- how to actually make it better.

    "The entire space of the internet is so complicated and fucked up," she says. "We have to do a lot of thinking about what that means and how to fix it. I certainly don't know."

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    In the meantime, though, she has a deep community of fans who enjoy and are comforted by her work. The support is sometimes so affecting that it brings her to tears: "[The community] is really intuitive around harassment itself," she says. "I'll get messages like, 'Hey, you’re getting so much hate today, and I just want to tell you what this page and this work means to me' and I just sit in my DMs and cry."

    "There’s so much support [from] people who are like, 'Yeah, this has happened to me a hundred million times,'" she adds. "It's really validating to meet so many people, even in the space of a comments section, who can relate. I wish there could be an Awards for Good Boys convention."

    Want more clever culture writing beamed directly to your inbox? Sign up here for the twice-weekly Click Click Click newsletter. It's fun – we promise.

  • Is that TikTok-famous heatless hair curling headband worth the hype? We tested it.

    Is that TikTok-famous heatless hair curling headband worth the hype? We tested it.

    If you've stumbled your way onto Hair TikTok, odds are you've seen a heatless curling rod headband. Since the pandemic began, people have been itching to throw away their damaging hot tools and find alternative ways to curl their hair. And this headband, a long foam rod covered in silk, is one of the more famous options. You fasten the top of the headband to your head with the provided clip, then wrap your hair around each side of the headband, securing it with scrunchies so that when it dries, you've got springy, uniform curls.  


    Between TikTok and Instagram ads, it's hard to escape these foam rods that have taken the internet by storm. A heatless curling rod headband was even featured in Season 2, Episode 3 of Euphoria, "Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys," as part of Cassie's 4 a.m. beauty routine. I'm not sure what else she uses to keep her hair so perfect (I'm one of those people who keeps up with the show without actually watching it), but I've seen enough proof on TikTok to know that this headband is more than just TV magic. I eventually gave into all of the advertising and I decided to order one for myself. 

    Behold: The TikTok-famous hair curler. Credit: SCREENSHOT: GRAFKEN / AMAZON

    Now let me preface this by telling you all that I have weird hair. The top layers are kind of curly, and the bottom layers are straight. I've tried a ton of different products in hopes of getting the layers to match, and the only solution I've found is to let my hair dry in braids. It works well enough and at this point, I'm too lazy to find a new routine. If I want actual curls I usually break out my old college curling iron, but every time I see a beauty TikTokker shake out their perfect head of heatless curls, it makes me think I might be able to do it too.

    After a quick $9.99 Amazon purchase(Opens in a new tab) and a trip to the drugstore for some mousse, I was ready. Armed with hair products, partially dried hair, and a foolproof TikTok-approved plan from creator Gabrielle Chase(Opens in a new tab) (@gabschase(Opens in a new tab)), I set out to achieve the heatless curls of my dream.

    The heatless curling process

    Once I acquired my heatless curling rod headband, the process was pretty simple. I washed and dried my hair as normal, then used some mousse and hair oil like Chase does in her TikTok. After letting my hair air dry for a while it was time to wrap. Other than a few of my layered pieces poking out, wrapping my hair was quick and painless. It took about 5 minutes from start to finish. There were no instructions on how long to leave my hair wrapped, but I assumed it was to be left in until your hair was completely dry. Chase slept in hers, so I decided I would do the same. 

    From 2022 girl to medieval maiden. Credit: LILY KARTIGANER

    Wearing this contraption while going through the rest of my nightly routine was pretty hilarious. Every time I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror I had a little giggle. I looked like a medieval maiden. I posted a video of myself wearing it to my Instagram Story, and a few friends even responded with the laughing emoji. Others wanted updates with the results because they, too, had seen the headbands all over social media and were curious how well they worked.

    While the headband might not have been the most comfortable thing to lay around in before bed, ultimately it was fine. Since I was still new to the world of heatless hair curling, I was also being extra cautious so as not to jeopardize the final result, so I may have also just been overly aware of my head.

    The heatless curling results

    I was pleasantly surprised by how well my hair stayed in the curler while I slept. I'm not the most active sleeper, but I definitely move around a bit during the night, so seeing my hair mostly intact the next morning was exciting.

    After I washed my face and brushed my teeth, it was time for the big reveal. In a video worthy of any influencer, I pulled out the curling rod. Y'all, my hair was so nice! It was curly, it was bouncy, and not to brag, but it really did look TikTok perfect.

    One issue I noticed was that my hair was still damp, which meant the perfect curls wouldn't be there for long. My hair isn't that thick, so I didn't think anything of wrapping it in the headband while it was still partially wet, but I guess it wasn't as dry as it should've been, which may have been my downfall. I tried adding a little hairspray to see if it could save all my hard work, but I could already see my curls starting to fall. I fixed my bangs with a blow dryer and prepared myself for the sadness of another viral product that didn't follow through.

    The experience wasn't ALL bad. My hair still turned out pretty nice; it just wasn't the curling iron hair-level that I expected. There were some nice waves on the top layers, but the bottom layers were still mostly straight. All in all it didn't look much different from my normal hair routine.

    Look at those curls! Credit: LILY KARTIGANER

    The heatless curling verdict

    The TikTok heatless hair curler is…fine. Did my hair turn out nice in the end? Sure. Is it fun to use for some laughs? Definitely! Is it the tool I'm going to reach for when I want beautiful hair for an event? Never. While the idea of saving my hair from some heat damage by using a heatless tool is nice, it definitely isn't worth the whole routine of wrapping and sleeping in the curler. With a curling iron, my hair is done in less than an hour. But, hey, for $10 it was probably worth a try. 

    Looks like it's back to the curl drawing board. At least I know where to find some good options. 

  • This story about an office lunch theft is so good, you must read it


    This story about an office lunch theft is so good, you must read it

    Everything was fine until somebody touched the shrimp fried rice.

    The communal office fridge is one of the most contentious areas of any office. Long lost leftovers go forgotten until it's hard for anyone to avoid the stench, unorganized stackers become apparent, and inevitably, someone's precious food or condiment will be violated. There are a few unspoken fridge rules for any office, however, the golden rule is to never, ever eat or discard someone's lunch. Ever.

    SEE ALSO: The best (and weirdest) of Craigslist's missed connections

    Comedian Zak Toscani shared a controversial tale of an office lunch gone wrong, which he says started Thursday evening after his coworker noticed their lunch had gone missing from the fridge. We were unable to confirm the events actually took place (this may be a big joke ... he's a comedian after all), but the story is so good, it must be read.

    After the lunch went missing, HR apparently let the scorned man review security footage.

    The lunch in question was shrimp fried rice, and had only been inside the office fridge for less than an hour.

    Toscani found himself surrounded by the thief and victim.

    That's when Toscani revealed the woman who allegedly stole the shrimp fried rice threw it away. She had left the office for the day, so there was no confrontation.

    Shrimp dude seems like a good guy, and did not want anyone to get fired over the incident.

    Now it's Friday, HR has sent an email to the workforce reminding them of the golden rule: Do not steal lunches, people.

    The alleged shrimp fried rice thief apparently decided to play dumb instead of admitting wrongdoing. Bold move.

    But the victim had some 🔥🔥🔥to throw.

    That's when the alleged shrimp fried rice thief called the victim a snitch.

    Toscani maintains the incident is real, but we'd like to remind you he is a comedian and writer.

    Keeping up the ~drama~ Toscani has decided to order three shrimp fried rice plates. Apparently, the alleged thief says she "loves" the food.

    Oh. My. God.

    The saga was exactly what the internet needed on a sleepy Friday. It has all the elements that make up a good story: relatable office drama, a scandal, lying, mystery, and of course, delicious shrimp fried rice.

    We've reached out to Toscani for additional details and to confirm the story, but who cares if he responds. Just please enjoy the thread with the rest of the internet.

    Many people decided to share their own lunch controversies.

    UPDATE: March 30, 2018, 2:15 p.m. PDT

    We regret to inform you that we may never know the alleged shrimp fried rice thief's motive, but it was still a wonderful tale nonetheless.

  • Make a plan: How getting out the vote has become 2020s biggest viral challenge

    Make a plan: How getting out the vote has become 2020s biggest viral challenge

    How many times have you been reminded about the election today? Once? Twice? Too many times to count?


    With a little more than a week left to go before Election Day, announcing that you've voted early, encouraging others to make a voting plan, talking to undecided voters, or urging people to go to the polls on Nov. 3 has become somewhat of a viral challenge.

    In the five minutes I spent scrolling Instagram this morning alone I counted 23 posts — both on my timeline and in Stories — that aimed to raise awareness about the upcoming election and remind people to cast a ballot. Before the day ends, who knows how many more voting-related posts I will have seen.

    Everyone has different social feeds and follows a different set of people who will ultimately determine what pops up. But you'd be hard pressed to visit any social media platform in October 2020 and not see some reference to the upcoming election.

    The cause of voting has obviously become hugely popular because this election is so high stakes, but this challenge is a little bit different from the usual entertaining, often frivolous viral trends. Unlike learning a TikTok dance, posting a black and white photo of yourself, or licking ice cream in a supermarket, this challenge has the power to bring about serious change.

    Leveraging social media platforms to help get out the vote is nothing new, of course. People have been posting selfies with their "I Voted" stickers and using fun election-themed filters for quite some time. But as the years pass and we get better at using social platforms for advocacy, people are coming up with really creative ways to encourage their followers to vote.

    Instagram is flooded with voting plans

    With the coronavirus pandemic impacting almost every aspect of the 2020 election, voting this year looks a lot different than it normally would. Many people — some of whom don't feel safe voting in person on Nov. 3, or who simply want to cross voting off their to-do lists — are casting ballots early this year. Depending on what state you live in(Opens in a new tab), you may have the option to mail in absentee ballots, drop them off at a secure dropbox, or even vote early in person.

    One of this year's most popular election trends is sharing your voting plan via an aesthetically pleasing template. Whether you're voting early or waiting until election day, doing your research and making a plan is key to avoiding voter suppression efforts. That's why shareable voting plan templates tailor-made for social media, like this one from Voting School(Opens in a new tab) — an online resource that aims to educate people on how to make their vote count — are so important.

    Voting School's "Here's My Voting Plan" template. Credit: image courtesy of voting school

    The Voting School initiative was launched on Sept. 22 by best friends Tova Diamond and Manasa Vedula, both 31 years old. After experiencing some setbacks when trying to vote absentee in the 2020 primary election, Diamond, an art director, and Vedula, a social media manager, were inspired to help others get more informed ahead of voting in the general election.

    The two are based in Astoria, New York, but they feared that trouble with absentee ballots and other voting obstacles could discourage general election voting all across the country. So they researched voting information in all states and created one central, easy-to-navigate website with all the necessary resources.

    "We figured if we nudged people to write down their plan and share it with others on social media, they'll not only be more apt to follow through, but can inspire others to do the same."

    Among those resources is the template shown above, which prompts Instagram users to share their pre- and post-voting plans, a backup plan, and their pre-Election Day mood with followers. It also offers space to tag three out-of-state friends and challenge them to fill out the template, too.

    "We conceived and designed our custom 'Voting Plan' template to hold people accountable," Diamond and Vedula said in an email. "We figured if we nudged people to write down their plan and share it with others on social media, they'll not only be more apt to follow through, but can inspire others to do the same."

    Voting School debuted the template after the first presidential debate, and the response has been overwhelming. In addition to sharing it and tagging others, several people have reached out to thank Diamond and Vedula for encouraging them to take action and think ahead. Celebrities such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star, Rachel Brosnahan, have even shown the template some love.

    Stand Up America(Opens in a new tab), a non-profit organization that activist Sean Eldridge founded weeks after the 2016 election, also has a similar voting plan template that's become quite popular on Instagram. The three slides (one of which is shown below) are easily shareable and encourage people to make a plan to vote, consider voting early, and encourage friends to do the same. 

    Stand Up America's Instagram Story templates. Credit: stand up america

    "The 'Make A Plan' influencer campaign has enabled us to disseminate critical voting information and mobilize Americans by reaching voters through people they already trust and interact with on a regular basis," Ashni Mehta(Opens in a new tab), Stand Up America's senior digital strategist said in a statement to Mashable.

    "Social pressure is the most reliable way to get young people to vote. Hearing directly from people you know, interact with, and trust is the most effective way to mobilize voters — and social media lets you do that at scale," Mehta said.

    It's more than just sharing templates

    Social media giants like Twitter(Opens in a new tab), Facebook(Opens in a new tab), Instagram(Opens in a new tab), and TikTok(Opens in a new tab) are also getting into the get out the vote game, offering their own in-app and onsite Election Day resources to educate users. Any Facebook and Instagram posts about voting will also be linked to "authoritative" voting information.

    A look at Facebook and Instagram's Election Day resources. Credit: facebook

    In addition to Voting School and Stand Up America, advocacy organizations like When We All Vote(Opens in a new tab), in a new tab), Ballot Ready(Opens in a new tab), HeadCount(Opens in a new tab), and Vote Forward(Opens in a new tab) are also leading efforts.

    Users, naturally, are doing their own creative things to raise awareness on all different social platforms. On Twitter, people are using hashtags like #IVoted(Opens in a new tab), #VotingSquad(Opens in a new tab), #WomenAreVoting(Opens in a new tab), #ImVotingFor(Opens in a new tab), and #MakeAPlan(Opens in a new tab) to share their personal reasons for voting, explain which issues they're most passionate about, and encourage their followers to vote.

    Mailbox, dropbox, and "I Voted" sticker selfies are still very popular too. (Not ballot selfies, though — remember in some states those are illegal(Opens in a new tab).)

    Celebrities are stepping up their GOTV game

    Celebrities are working overtime to educate voters and encourage them to turn out. Michelle Obama has been leading a major effort, and A-listers like Taylor Swift, Chris Evans, and many more have also used their personal platforms to help get the word out.

    Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, teamed up with @theshaderoom(Opens in a new tab) to put out a voter PSA on Instagram. Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez went live on Twitch for the first time to play Among Us and help viewers make their voting plans.

    Mandy Patinkin and his wife Kathryn have become an adorable and potent viral voting duo(Opens in a new tab). Actors from beloved television shows including Gilmore Girls(Opens in a new tab), Friday Night Lights(Opens in a new tab), New Girl(Opens in a new tab), and Succession(Opens in a new tab) have had mini reunions on social media to encourage voter registration and voter turnout in key swing states.

    Actor Michael B. Jordan caused quite a stir by mastering the art of the thirst trap(Opens in a new tab) to lure fans into completing an early voting checklist. YouTube star Tana Mongeau launched a personal "Booty for Biden" campaign(Opens in a new tab), in which she promised to send nudes to anyone who sent her proof that they voted for Biden. And after Chris Evans had that accidental dick pic Instagram mishap, he returned to Twitter by reminding everyone to vote.

    Just how powerful is social media?

    So much has happened since Trump won the presidency in 2016, including the revelation that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter played a critical role in Russia's interference in the election. These massive social platforms have struggled, and often outright failed, to stop the spread of misinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories.

    But the power of their influence in America has only grown since the last presidential election, and people have realized to an even greater extent how they can use their reach to fight for a cause. This time around, users are doing everything in their power to ensure that wide-spanning social media influence is harnessed for good — especially since the pandemic has made in-person efforts that much harder.

    At this point, you've likely been told to vote ad nauseam, and that's the plan. The hope is that if your eyes pass over these reminders enough and Election Day resources are as accessible as possible, there will be a high voter turnout come Nov. 3.

    Related Video: How to vote in the 2020 presidential election

  • 12 places for thrifty bookworms to download the best free e-books

    12 places for thrifty bookworms to download the best free e-books

    Looking for the next great book to sink your teeth into? Look no further.


    If you don't want to lug around a hardcover in your bag or under your arm, you might want to invest in some e-books. And, thankfully, this is an investment that won't break the bank. Digital bookworms — you can get in a good read without spending a dime. The internet is filled with free e-book resources so you can download new reads and old classics from the comfort of your smartphone, iPad, or whatever eReader you prefer(Opens in a new tab). If you have a Kindle, there are loads of other places you can download free e-books, specifically made for your device. And, once you're all set up, you might even be able to share them with friends and family from your Kindle.

    Here's a list of 12 places where you can find a wealth of free e-books (yes, free e-books!).

    1. Google eBookstore(Opens in a new tab)

    The Google eBookstore offers an entire section of free e-books to download. Credit: GOOGLE EBOOKSTORE

    In the free section of the Google eBookstore, you'll find a ton of free books from a variety of genres. Look here for bestsellers, favorite classics, and more, including titles from Ayn Rand(Opens in a new tab) and Franz Kafka(Opens in a new tab). Books are available in several formats, and you can also check out ratings and reviews from other users.

    2. Project Gutenberg(Opens in a new tab)

    Project Gutenberg has of over 60,000 free e-books. Credit: Project Gutenberg

    With a collection of more than 45,000 free e-books, Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to create and share e-books online. The selection includes(Opens in a new tab) everything from Pride and Prejudice(Opens in a new tab) by Jane Austen(Opens in a new tab) to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland(Opens in a new tab) by Lewis Carroll(Opens in a new tab) to Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley(Opens in a new tab). No registration or fee is required, and books are available in ePub, Kindle, HTML, and simple text formats.

    SEE ALSO: 7 apps to keep your plants alive and well

    3. Open Library(Opens in a new tab)

    Never run out of free book download options with Open Library. Credit: OPEN LIBRARY

    The Open Library has more than one million free e-books available. This library catalog is an open online project of Internet Archive, and allows users to contribute books, which allows for its fascinating selection of everything from Ronald Dahl(Opens in a new tab) to John Grisham(Opens in a new tab). You can easily search by the title, author, and subject.

    4. Internet Archive(Opens in a new tab)

    Internet Archive has millions of free books, movies, music, and more. Credit: Internet Archive

    If you're looking for out-of-print books in different languages and formats, check out this non-profit digital library. The Internet Archive is a great go-to if you want access to historical and academic books, like an electrical engineer's pocketbook from 1918(Opens in a new tab) and cookbooks(Opens in a new tab) from(Opens in a new tab) across(Opens in a new tab) the world(Opens in a new tab).

    5. BookBoon(Opens in a new tab)

    BookBoon is ideal if you're looking for e-books of the educational textbook or business book variety. Credit: BookBoon

    Searching for a particular educational textbook or business book? BookBoon may have what you're looking for, from Advanced Communication Skills(Opens in a new tab) to An Introduction to Business and Business Planning(Opens in a new tab). The site offers more than 1,000 free e-books, it's easy to navigate and best of all, you don't have to register to download them.

    6. in a new tab) has all you could want for your Kindles, iPads and other e-readers. Credit:

    With more than 29,000 free e-books at your fingertips, you're bound to find one that interests you here. You have the option to browse by most popular titles, recent reviews, authors, titles, genres, languages, and more to find books written by Agatha Christie(Opens in a new tab) and Tamara Grantham(Opens in a new tab). These books are compatible for Kindles, iPads and most e-readers.

    7. Free eBooks(Opens in a new tab)

    A plethora of free book downloads await -- everything from self-improvement e-books to poetry downloads. Credit: free ebooks

    From romance to mystery to education, this website is a good source for all sorts of free e-books. When you're making a selection, you can go through reviews and ratings for each book. If you're looking for a site wide variety of books in various categories, one that can serve you The Real Law Of Attraction Code(Opens in a new tab), Blockchain Secrets(Opens in a new tab), and Poetry in Spoken Word(Opens in a new tab) in the same breath, check out this site.

    8. LibriVox(Opens in a new tab)

    LibriVox is the ideal free e-book choice if you prefer an audiobook to a physical copy. Credit: LibriVox

    Want to listen to books instead? LibriVox is home to thousands of free audiobooks, including classics, out-of-print books, and historical texts, like all of the State of the Union Addresses by United States Presidents(Opens in a new tab).

    9. PDF Books World(Opens in a new tab)

    PDF Books World has a massive collection of the PDF versions of all the classics you want. Credit: PDF Books World

    Thanks to public domain(Opens in a new tab), you can access PDF versions of all the classics you've always wanted to read in PDF Books World's enormous digital library, from The Great Gatsby (Opens in a new tab)by Francis Scott Fitzgerald(Opens in a new tab) and The Call Of The Wild(Opens in a new tab) by Jack London(Opens in a new tab). Literature, plays, poetry, and non-fiction texts are all available for you to download at your leisure.

    10. Feedbooks(Opens in a new tab)

    If you're looking for free public domain books, try Feedbooks. Credit: feedbooks

    Similar to PDF Books World, Feedbooks allows those that sign up for an account to download a multitude of free e-books — from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad(Opens in a new tab) to The Scarlet Plague(Opens in a new tab) by Jack London(Opens in a new tab) — that have become accessible via public domain, and therefore cost you nothing to access. Just make sure that when you're on Feedbooks' site you head to the "Public Domain" tab to avoid its collection of "premium" books only available for purchase.

    11. International Digital Children's Library(Opens in a new tab)

    The University of Maryland's International Digital Children's Library is a great place to look for younger readers. Credit: International Digital Children's Library

    If you're having a hard time finding a good children's book amidst the many free classics available online, you might want to check out the International Digital Children's Library. Here, you can find award-winning books that range in length and reading levels, from Aesop's fables to Tales of passed times by Mother Goose, with morals. There's also a wide selection of languages available, with everything from English to Farsi.

    12. Check your local library

    You can get some downloadable e-books through your local library, or an online library like Libby(Opens in a new tab), which requires that you have an actual library card to sign up. The drawbacks are clear: Libraries have a specific number of copies to lend, and if all copies are already checked out, you'll have to wait your turn. And, like all other books you borrow from the library, you can't hold onto the e-book forever. But if you want a recently released book, this could be your best bet.

    This story was originally published in 2014 and updated in July 2021.

  • Travel down a Wikipedia rabbit hole with the mastermind behind DepthsOfWikipedia Instagram

    Travel down a Wikipedia rabbit hole with the mastermind behind DepthsOfWikipedia Instagram

    Welcome to Small Talk, a series where we catch up with the internet's favorite Extremely Online individuals offline.


    Annie Rauwerda is committed to the quest for useless knowledge.

    In April 2020, the 21-year-old University of Michigan student created the @depthsofwikipedia(Opens in a new tab) Instagram account. For those unfamiliar with the intriguing online space, it's where Rauwerda posts screenshots of particularly weird, funny, and obscure Wikipedia pages. She's featured pages for terms and phrases such as the "friendship paradox,"(Opens in a new tab) an idea that your friends all have more friends than you; "goblincore,"(Opens in a new tab) a feral coziness that Mashable's written about in depth; and my personal favorite, "desire path,"(Opens in a new tab) aka a path created by foot traffic.

    The @depthsofwikipedia Instagram account now has more than 382,000 followers, and Rauwerda's created a sister TikTok account(Opens in a new tab) and runs two spinoff Instagram accounts — @depthsofcraigslist(Opens in a new tab) and @depthsofamazon, which is no longer operational — with her friend from high school.

    What started as a quarantine project is now a beloved corner of the internet that teaches followers invaluable wacky trivia on the regular. I called Rauwerda to chat about her longtime love of Wikipedia, which of her posts get the most traction, and her favorite niche places on the internet.

    Mashable: So you did Wikiracing in middle school. Tell me about that.

    Annie Rauwerda: In middle school and high school I would race my friends from destination to destination on Wikipedia. You start at an article — something random like "A$AP Rocky" — and then you click the hyperlinks to get to a destination like "chicken hypnotism" or something like that. It was a really fun way to see how massive Wikipedia really is. Even though I didn't start editing Wikipedia until many years after that, Wikiracing got me a lot more interested in and appreciative of Wikipedia.

    Was Wikiracing the start of you being an Extremely Online Individual?

    I've always loved the internet. My parents were understandably skeptical about letting me careen on the internet unsupervised, so Wikipedia was a somewhat safe space. I was allowed to Wikirace quite a bit.

    I have a diary entry from when I was in sixth grade where I wrote about Wikipedia. It's so funny: "I read the whole page about milk. I am going to be an expert in milk now. Tomorrow, I'm going to the same thing, but with McDonald's."

    I looked back on it recently, and it made me laugh because I guess I've always liked collecting knowledge that might not always be useful.

    Rereading old journal entries is always funny. It gives you some real insight into what you thought was interesting enough to document.

    I think most of my journal entries were about my crush and about wanting to wear eyeshadow and stuff, and then randomly I would write about the history of pasteurization.

    I feel like Wikipedia was so villainized in middle school when I was being taught how to use the internet. Teachers would be like, "Never look at Wikipedia for anything." It wasn't until college that professors started to acknowledge that Wikipedia is a really good starting point.

    There are probably two reasons for that. One is that Wikipedia is 20 years old. In the early days, Wikipedia was kind of the Wild West, and there was a lot of random riffraff on Wikipedia. So it makes sense that 10 years ago, when I was in middle school, librarians were more skeptical.

    I think the other reason is that when you're younger it is so easy to plagiarize. So I can kind of understand why they would want to steer you away from a site that so clearly presents information. Whereas in college, it is such a good tool. It's a launchpad to other sources. But Wikipedia has never said that it is authoritative. It's a great place to find good sources, like in their citations. But you should still take anything you read on Wikipedia, even though it is super reputable, with a grain of salt.

    What inspired you to start @depthsofwikipedia?

    In quarantine, I was super bored. Everyone was starting projects, and I decided I was going to record my favorite trivia facts I found on Wikipedia. I started in April 2020. For the first two months it was just me and my friends, and I posted a lot of random pages. I didn't really have strict criteria. A few months later I just kept posting every single day, and eventually it just gained a lot of followers. Ever since then it's been exponential growth — between one and five percent per week.

    I discovered you on TikTok, not Instagram. When did you start using TikTok?

    I made the TikTok account in January 2021, and I posted a little bit. Then I started really posting in the summer of 2021. Now, I try to post a couple videos a week.

    TikTok is definitely a little bit more effort than posting on Instagram. And my Instagram following is bigger. It's like 370,000. Whereas TikTok is 90,000. I think TikTok is fun, and I like the way you can use sound and timing, but it's definitely more effort to make a post.

    Was it weird to transition to TikTok and to start showing your face?

    Yeah, definitely. I was never fully anonymous. I would put my face on my Instagram Stories, and I linked my personal page in my bio. I never wanted to be anonymous, but it was definitely a mental barrier to get over to put my face in front of everything.

    You're a senior at University of Michigan. Do people recognize you on campus?

    They do, and it's so fun for me. It's always in really random places, like sometimes I'll be in the library and someone will look at me for a little bit too long. And then they'll be like, "Do you have a TikTok?" I'll be like, "Yeah, I do." At the farmers' market someone recognized me, and then to thank me for "free entertainment" she gave me a bunch of free produce. It was amazing.

    That's awesome. How do you balance running your account with your coursework? Is it a huge time commitment?

    Finding the Wikipedia articles isn't as much time now, because people will send me interesting articles. The user submissions are amazing. I still spend a lot of time doing schoolwork. I think I've probably sacrificed my social life maybe more than I should. But honestly, @depthofwikipedia stuff is what I do in my leisure time, because it's just so fun to me. I think that's like my main leisure activity, even though sometimes it feels a little bit like work.

    Before user submissions how were you finding Wikipedia pages to post?

    I would click the link in the "See Also" section. Or I would look at trivia and then I would see if I could find that trivia on Wikipedia. And that's kind of how I did it. I would just spent a long time collecting random articles.

    Now I get probably 30 to 50 user submissions per day. That said, a lot of the submissions just don't really make the cut.

    What is your criteria?

    At least half of submissions are things that I've already posted. But then on top of that, the things that do well on Instagram and TikTok are things that are somewhat relatable. People love to share posts that have this element of like, "That is so me." So that's one thing that I look for.

    Also, if things require too much reading to be interesting then I won't post them, because on Instagram and TikTok it has to be quick. People are scrolling, and so to hold attention — if there's like a really big boring lead-in — it's harder to get people to invest.

    Did you get into any other hobbies during the pandemic?

    I moved to New York, because my classes were online and I found a really cheap sublet. That's not really a hobby, but that was a fun thing. I'm back in Ann Arbor, Michigan, now. But I kind of miss New York.

    As the pandemic was letting up and people were getting vaccinated, comedy started back up in New York and I started doing some comedy shows that were heavily inspired by @depthsofwikipedia.

    How were your comedy sets inspired by @depthsofwikipedia?

    I use a PowerPoint with Wikipedia screenshots and then I add commentary.

    You also had internet beef with Caroline Calloway right?

    I posted a screenshot of Caroline Calloway's Wikipedia page that said, "Occupation: nothing." She was upset about that and reposted it to her grid and talked about how sex work is work.

    At that point I was shocked that she noticed, because I had only 1,000 or 2,000 followers. So I made an apology, and she quickly forgave me and reposted a bunch of things to her stories saying like, "Oh, this is a cool account. You should follow it." After that I got a lot of followers.

    Who followed your account that you fangirled over the most?

    John Mayer.

    When did he follow it?

    In December 2020. Oh, also Troye Sivan. He followed really early when I had like 5,000 followers.

    Oh damn. How did you decide to start the @depthsofamazon and @depthsofcraigslist accounts?

    I think I just saw enough funny things on Amazon and Craigslist that I was like, "Why not make spin-offs. My friend from high school, Hajin Yoo, helps run those.

    What are some internet trends or phenomena that you've been interested in lately?

    There was a TikTok of a lady doing a mock college tour, which was really funny.

    There's a TikTokker that does trivia. He'll say a bunch of things that happened in the same year and you have to try and guess what the year was as quickly as you can.

    There's an Instagram account(Opens in a new tab) that posts 1970s cookbook recipes that are really fun, and retro, and weird.

    I subscribe to a bunch of newsletters that make me feel very inspired every day.

    Which are your favorite?

    That's so hard, maybe like Today in Tabs(Opens in a new tab) and Garbage Day(Opens in a new tab). They always have funny internet phenomena. And I also have a newsletter, which is based on trivia, and the internet, and Wikipedia. And it's not only Wikipedia facts, but it's a lot of facts from Wikipedia.

    And what's your newsletter called?

    Depths Of...(Opens in a new tab)

    I saw the article you wrote about the Facebook college roommate pitch, which is the blurb people write on Facebook when trying to find a freshman year roommate. I've noticed a lot of that kind of thing has switched over to Instagram.

    Yeah. I think that things have really changed in the five years since I got a roommate, because I agree. I think that people will stalk each other's Instagram profiles, and that's the biggest determining factor.

    I guess in all the posts they had their Snapchat usernames and Instagram handles. When I did the AI, the AI would generate variations of their names for their fake username, which was really funny.

    I also loved your personal website(Opens in a new tab) and the way you have the list of links you like. That's such a smart way to organize articles that you're interested.

    Yeah, I literally just do that for myself. And it's the best thing ever because occasionally people will email me and be like, "Hey, I was inspired by your list. Here are some things that you should add." I kind of do solicit that, but it's like the best thing ever. It's like, "Oh my god, these are amazing and I never would have found them."

    One person sent [a link to] the Internet Archive(Opens in a new tab). There's this massive repository of the soundtrack to Kmart(Opens in a new tab) in the '90s because some guy saved them. It was his job. He would get these recordings from Kmart to play in the store in the '90s and when the month was done he would just save them. It's like elevator music. But then interspersed you have like, "Check out our new flannel shirts that are only $7.48 or whatever." It's really funny to listen to.

    Want more Small Talk? Enjoy:

    • A 'Ted Lasso' subreddit moderator shares what it's like curating one of the kindest spaces online

    • All your burning questions about the oracle pug Noodle and Bones Day, answered

    • How Bachelor Nation’s favorite data scientist tracks everything from screen time to dress colors

    • Cans of poop, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies: A wild conversation with Cassils

  • This fans encounter with Matthew Broderick will make you feel sorry for Jerry Seinfeld

    This fans encounter with Matthew Broderick will make you feel sorry for Jerry Seinfeld


    On Monday morning, Twitter user @HonoredSpirit(opens in a new tab) took the time to share a hysterical story about a friend's encounter with Matthew Broderick— and one of his very famous friends—in a convenience store.

    "A few years ago a friend of mine took his family out to Montauk on vacation and had stopped at a little store to get snacks, etc, and who do they see but that Star of Stage and Screen, Matthew Broderick...," @HonoredSpirit(opens in a new tab) wrote. Broderick kindly agreed to take a photograph with the fan's daughter, even though he was shopping with his friend.

    SEE ALSO: Celebrities were actually given 'consolation puppies' at the Grammys

    "...this is a once in a lifetime photo and he wants it to be just right so he asks Broderick's friend to kind of move to the side a bit out of frame, and he moves a bit," @HonoredSpirit continued in his epic. "And my friend says, just a little more, a little more, keeps doing the nudging motion with his hand. Lots of nudging. Okay he won't move any father, fine, we can crop him out..."

    Turns out, those nudges might have been the biggest mistake of all time.

    The photo that this friend took back to show off to family included Broderick, yes, but upon closer inspection, Broderick's "friend" happens to be the one and only Jerry Seinfeld, Broderick's Bee movie conspirator and just one of the most lauded comedians. Yet there he is casually pushed to the side, awkwardly holding a plastic bag.

    At least this fan's loss was our gain, and fans of Seinfeld had a field day with the photo on Twitter.


    Better luck next time, Jerry.