Manoush Zomorodi is the host of WNYC’s weekly podcast “Note to Self,” which she describes in the intro as “a tech show about being human.” In the podcast she has recently tackled topics such as ‘Skimm-ing’ the news; algorithms that can improve your life; and the Internet’s impact on how teenage girls understand sexual desirability. Before joining WNYC, Zomorodi was a reporter for BBC and Reuters.
In her most recent podcast, “A Beginner’s Guide to International Tech Etiquette,” Zomorodi interviews three international NPR correspondents about the how different cultures engage with daily technology. In the 25 minute episode, they discuss how the French don’t leave “out of the office” emails; South Koreans love watching live videos on their hyper-fast internet speeds; and how many people in East Africa have switched to a digital currency. The episode asks listeners to reflect on how their own culture shapes their digital experience.
The video below is a talk Zomorodi gave last year at a PSFK event where she outlined the purpose of her “Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out” challenge posed to her podcast listeners. It’s goal was to encourage people to spend less time on their phones when they were bored, giving the brain a chance to engage in continuous creative thought. The week-long challenge hoped to attract a couple hundred test subjects, but 20,000 people eagerly signed up for the experiment. “Bored and Brilliant” spawned her second challenge “Infomagical” in early 2016, which garnered 30,000 participants who were ready to solve the issue of information overload in their lives. Through her podcast and social media Zomorodi has also drawn attention to the trending topic #womenpodcasters and the event #WerkIt hosted by her parent station WNYC.
Manoush Zomorodi and her work can be found online on the following sites:
Twitter – @manoushz
Personal Site – http://www.manoushz.com/
WNYC Podcast – “Note to Self”