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Emma Gannon grew up online. Now she’s learning the beauty of sharing less

The content-creator online world is misunderstood, says author and podcaster Emma Gannon, who sees the future of work being rewritten by social media go-getters who don't necessarily work 9-5. Gannon, a self-described “multi-hyphenate” who hosts Ctrl Alt Delete and has written a book by the same name, gives her Brief but Spectacular take on the highs and lows of social media.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Next, we turn to another installment of our weekly Brief But Spectacular series, where we ask people about their passions.

    Tonight, the British blogger and podcaster Emma Gannon. She hosts the popular podcast Ctrl Alt Delete, and her latest book is "The Multi-Hyphen Method."

  • Emma Gannon:

    Yes, there are so misconceptions about the social media, YouTube, content creator world.

    It is true that we make stuff in our bedrooms. That is true. I do edit my podcast in my pajamas sometimes.

    I think what's interesting about that conversation is that it's more about the future of work. We don't necessarily work 9 to 5, and we don't just sit there in a seat and look busy.

    It's more about actually being busy, but in different ways that some people can't really wrap their heads around just yet.

    I wrote a book last year called "Ctrl Alt Delete," and it's a book about millennials. The reason we are the way we are is because of the way we grew up, being introduced to technology at a very early age. But we're not the same as Generation Z, who kind of had an iPad straight out of the womb.

    I remember the day that my mom kind of wheeled in a massive white huge computer. I kind of just fell in love with it immediately. I started to use social media, I guess, when I was about 11 or 12 properly. People say that social media addiction is like the new heroin.

    It's been scientifically kind of proven that a like is the same as sort of a dopamine rush that you would get from doing drugs or having a hug or someone saying something nice to you in person. And we shouldn't feel bad for feeling good when someone retweets us like 100 times. That feels amazing.

    But I think it's a dangerous kind of cycle and a dangerous road to go down, if that's the only way you can feel good. I think we probably all check our phones at times we shouldn't. I read that 20 percent of people actually check their phone whilst having sex, not even afterwards or before, during, which kind of freaked me out.

    There was a study that came out about couples who take too many selfies and how they directly correspond to breakups. It does make sense. I think the more someone is sharing, it's clear that maybe, in that time of their life, they're needing to share more, they're needing more validation, whereas I know that, as I grow up, I share less, which I think is interesting, so I'm being more confident.

    And so I don't need everyone to know what I'm doing all the time. I'm just happy doing it.

    I think we're in this time where we feel like we have to have our opinions and our personality and our identity and our thoughts kind of written in stone and chiseled into foreverness.

    I think it's OK to say I don't know, because I don't know so much. I think I'm one of those people that asks why a lot. And I think that's why millennials do get a reputation for being quite entitled, because we go into the workplace or we go into a situation and we kind of ask why, because I wouldn't do it that way, and why are you telling me to do it that way?

    I was reading something the other day about something called slow living, and it's essentially this new movement where you do really kind of go back to basics, and you go on a long walk, and you make, you know, dinner from scratch. I like the idea of having your working week, and then on the weekends, you kind of — yes, you write someone a letter or you go for a hike or you go for a swim.

    I think, yes, we're going to get to a point where we have to go backwards because we can't go forwards anymore. We will break.

    My name is Emma Gannon, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on the highs and lows of social media.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And I'm putting my smartphone down right now.

    You can find additional Brief But Spectacular episodes on our Web site. That's PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.

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