Welcome to 24 Hours Online, where we ask an extremely internet person to document a day in his life by staring at screens.
Last year, Emma Eun-joo Choi was an intern on the long-running NPR radio show Wait Wait… Don’t tell me! Today, she is the host of her new spin-off, Everybody and their moman abbreviated comedy podcast where wait wait panelists and comedians discuss the essential subject of the day. But unlike, say, Peter Sagal, she records episodes from her dorm at Harvard, where she’s finishing her freshman year.
Being the institution’s first-ever Gen Z host comes with challenges; for example, having to explain to colleagues what the most popular new app for middle schoolers is (it’s Be real), responding to Instagram DMs from all of her friends’ mothers and trying to pay attention to her poetry lecture while scouting for the show’s next guests. But Choi grew up with the internet (she was in seventh grade when Snapchat came out), so online multitasking is practically second nature.
In her 24 hours online, she discusses the extremely relatable experience of keeping a wedding-centric Pinterest board despite not wanting to get married anytime soon, and psychoanalyzes her window-shopping habits. in line. Here it is, in his own words:
I wake up by accident, which is annoying. I do the New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle until I reach the “genius” level. the wait wait the staff love it; I didn’t start playing until they started. Then I go back to sleep.
I wake up again and find a few more words on the Spelling Bee just to show the NYT who’s boss. I scroll through Twitter and respond to some Instagram DMs. A strange number of mothers of my high school friends reached out, because a Vanity Fair article about me just got out. It’s always nice to hear from Carol!
I browse the sale Lisa Says Gah – before-basic! – but finds nothing. I always shop online because I have an unhealthy addiction to dresses. I check the Shop app to see if my shirt from ODDLI, which is this Instagram brand that uses unsold fabric to make T-shirts with your name on it, is already here. It’s not 🙁
A new episode of my show is dropping, so I’m adding it to my Instagram story and tweeting about it. The vibe of the show is like when you go to a party and there’s a corner where a band is talking about everything. It’s very chaotic and dense, and deeply fun.
I’m on Slack. Suppose I’m still on Slack. We have a Slack channel called “NPR Spills,” where everyone at NPR shows other adults what they spilled that day, like soup.
I am preparing to write a collection of short stories for my graduation thesis in creative writing. I presented a collection of horror stories because I love writing genre fiction. It involves a lot of research, so I read my advisor’s story in three penny review and re-read Allegra Goodman’s”The Vita Nuova“, which is wonderful.
I’m screwing up my search history because I’m doing a PowerPoint with Peter Sagal for the early days (when podcasts present their latest work to potential advertisers), which means I have to search for random photos on, like, “Qu is life? Next, I’m looking to see if there are any whale watching tours in Boston right now, but apparently it’s not whale watching season yet.
Before class, I watch Philly Philly Wang Wang, which is a Netflix special from a British comedian, then clips from when Conan O’Brien pretends to be a civil war re-enactor back to the early years. I’ve always been a huge Conan fan.
I watch TikTok as I walk up the stairs to my dorm. I do this to motivate myself to climb said stairs. My page for you has lots of teen pregnancies, wedding preparations, and fashion girls buying expensive things and unboxing them. And then there’s the surreal vine energy stuff, like a wild boar running super fast while Florence and the Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over” plays. I watched this one like that, 10 times.
I pretend to be attentive in class while I research one of our next guests, astronaut Victor Glover. The professor starts talking about Marxist theory and so I go to my notes app and type in “I don’t know what we’re talking about anymore” and show it to my friend.
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
I’m in the tapes for the next few hours, so in the meantime I’m scrolling through Pinterest and adding to my home, style, threads, and wedding dress boards. I don’t want to get married anytime soon, but God, I love weddings. I’ve been adding to this Pinterest board since 2012; if you scroll all the way down these are the most hideous dresses you’ve ever seen and love mason jar candles. I am fascinated by the meaning of a wedding dress for a bride – it is not just a dress, it is a synthesis of her personality, her wealth, her social status, and she will remain in her photos for always.
Then I scroll through Net-a-Porter and sort the dresses from most expensive to least expensive. It sounds silly, but I love looking at beautiful things; it scratches a really specific itch. I love to imagine the kind of woman who would wear a hideous $12,000 Jacquemus dress.
Time to post my BeReal! It’s kind of the cool app right now. I think it appeals to my group because there’s low engagement – you post a photo in the moment once a day at a specific time – and it connects you with your friends because you can see what everyone does. At the same time, there’s still a bit of bragging because if people take BeReals from each other, you can tell they’re trolling. Last week, all my messages were posted in Zoom meetings, and my friends are like, “You’re too good for girls.”
I’m looking at the rest of the New York Times crossword answers, then working on tomorrow’s. I scroll Thrift stores, which is an Instagram account where I recently bought a vintage 90s NPR T-shirt, because I like to embody my stereotype. My nightly routine is to scroll through more TikToks, scroll through Instagram, scroll through Twitter, check my email, then watch more TikToks until I get tired.
I have a complicated relationship with my screen time. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch TV on weekdays, and I wasn’t even allowed to have my phone upstairs with me until college. So watching TikToks until I fall asleep is a very new thing for me. I still consider it a dangerous treat that I should savor quickly until someone takes it away from me. But now it’s part of my job and it’s fun. it’s what everyone talks about in school. At the same time, my vision is shitty now and I don’t drink enough water, so my head hurts.
Total screen time:
6 hours, 10 minutes
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