Who to Follow – Manoush Zomorodi

Headshot of podcaster Manoush Zomorodi

Image Credit: www.manoushz.com/bio

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” 

One thought on “Who to Follow – Manoush Zomorodi

  1. Bored and Brilliant


    Philip here,

    I will definitely check out this podcast. I particularly liked the idea of Bored and Brilliant. I actually do not own a smartphone, and I routinely allow myself the time to sit and simply think. I am always surprised by the number of people who retreat into their smartphone environment whenever they aren’t doing anything in the physical world.

    It is interesting how retreating into one’s mind can often be perceived as a negative trait, yet retrieving into a smartphone gives the appearance of productiveness. If I were to sit in a cafe with nothing in front of me and simply sip my coffee, I would look a bit daft, yet I would look perfectly normal if I added a smartphone to the situation.

    I also liked the idea of “skimming” as a skill to learn when dealing with vast amounts of information. This is something I struggle to teach my students in my English classroom. When we are conducting research projects, students often feel that they need to read everything chronologically, and word for word, starting with the very first article they find. If done this way, a research project would take ages to complete, which they often do in my classroom.

    Anyways, thanks for the recommendation!


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