Sign in

Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Social Media

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Humans 101

Your (over)use of a certain emoji may hint at your values and flaws

Illustration of two hands over a crystal ball with emoticons inside.
Illustration of two hands over a crystal ball with emoticons inside.

Here’s an instant personality test. Get your iPhone out and bring up the keyboard. Tap the emoji button and look to see what your most frequently used emoji is. It’s the one at the tippy-top of the list (unless you’re using an Android device, which will show your most recently used emoji, not your most frequently used emoji). This is the emoji you go to time and time again when communicating with others. And this byte-sized blip may say more about you than you think.


This Is Us

Why parents should think twice before granting kids absolute digital privacy

Dark photo of a young girl on a smartphone.
Dark photo of a young girl on a smartphone.

So, I had the talk with my 11-year-old daughter. (Not that talk, I had that talk a couple years ago.) She stared, unblinking, as I explained how sextortion works. I began with the story of Aaron Coleman. Five years ago, when Aaron was 14 years old, he tormented middle school girls online. His actions were so hurtful that a 6th-grade girl attempted to take her own life. She told the Kansas City Star that Coleman harassed her daily, insisting she kill her “fat” self. After obtaining a nude photo of another girl, Aaron threatened to send it to her friends…


Lived Through This

I thought my dress was perfect, but I knew it wouldn’t be for everyone

I got married in June 2018. In November of that year, a woman named Erin posted a photograph of my husband and I walking down the aisle after saying “I do,” with the caption “No… just, no.”

To this day, I sometimes wonder who this woman is and how she got a photograph of my wedding. The rules of the Facebook group state that you must block faces unless you have sourced the photograph from a public source… and our faces were scribbled out. Had they not been, I would have assumed she took the photo from my public Instagram…


There’s no ‘right’ way to quarantine

An illustration of a black silhouette of a young man against a bright red background.
An illustration of a black silhouette of a young man against a bright red background.

What will you do with your time in quarantine? Will you optimize your skill set? Will you maximize your time at home by fine-tuning the same professional skills you’ve been fine-tuning for years?

If not, there are a spate of articles I can show you that might make you feel ashamed.

Shame is abundant and endlessly varied in this pandemic. This quarantine has amplified it even further, as face-to-face accountability is slashed to near- zero.

Some shame is useful — such as the shame we cast on others for going out in public when it’s not necessary. Or for buying…


We needed to matter to each other, but the words we typed told us only the worst about ourselves

An overhead photo of an Asian woman standing still as blurred people walk by her.
An overhead photo of an Asian woman standing still as blurred people walk by her.

The first person I knew online who died was younger than me. He drowned one summer, jumping from a dock, landing in a shallow spot in a lake, getting knocked unconscious, and under he went. I’d dealt with death before, my great-grandmother and a grandfather, and this boy had never been a person of particular interest to me, but when word finally trickled online, I was shocked that he — who I knew only as words on a screen — was gone.

When I say I knew him, I mean I had never met him in person because he lived…


Humans 101

Bias against fat people is on the rise — and it’s harming our health, relationships, and self-esteem

A photo of five sculpture-like human faces.
A photo of five sculpture-like human faces.

The conversation is always the same and no less heartbreaking for its familiarity.

After days, weeks, months of talking with their fat friends and family, a straight-size person (that is, someone who doesn’t wear plus sizes) realizes that anti-fat bias isn’t just the work of devoted bigots, bad actors hell-bent on tormenting fat people. Something has clicked into place: She now realizes that the bias lives and breathes within her, too.

Anti-fat bias is, she finally understands, something she’s been perpetuating and replicating without even realizing it or meaning to. Every well-intended weight loss compliment, every “sweetie, no, you’re not…


This Is Us

The comments section is key to understanding what many fat people are up against every day

A bunch of clothes hangers hanging on a rack against a neon red/orange background.
A bunch of clothes hangers hanging on a rack against a neon red/orange background.

I felt my breath shallow as I boarded my flight. My muscles tightened while I fumbled for my boarding pass. I cast my eyes down, careful not to make contact with my fellow passengers, lest I provoke their complaints. I had taken every precaution I could — brought my own seat belt extender, paid an extra $900 for a first-class ticket on a cross-country flight — but as a very fat person on a plane, there were no guarantees that I would reach my destination.

Bodies my size are routinely cause for passenger complaints, even when we do everything we…


I disappear because I love you

A black and white photo of a newspaper with a picture of a person wearing a ghost sheet over their face.
A black and white photo of a newspaper with a picture of a person wearing a ghost sheet over their face.

My name is De and I am a serial ghoster. I ghost on friends, projects, family, and sometimes life. I think people get confused because I can have a whole conversation on Facebook, but ignore a text or call at the same time. That’s because if you’ve made it to being saved to my phone, I have a certain level of respect and love for you. It’s a higher level than my 1,000+ friends on Facebook. The idea of having to answer the question “How are you?” from someone on Facebook vs. someone saved in my phone is completely different…


Her ghostly presence on social media helps me mourn

Do you have LinkedIn? I do. I don’t know why I have it. Does anyone use it? Has anyone been like, “Thank God I have LinkedIn! It 100% impacted my life in a positive way!” I seriously doubt that has ever been uttered, but I have it and it sends me notifications and I let it keep sending them to me. I can stop it whenever I want, but I never do. I would rather complain about the notifications than bother to turn them off, which would take five minutes. I think this is the social media equivalent of having…


With no one to turn to, I turned to Facebook — and ended up with a cop on my doorstep

In the winter of 2013, I found myself spending a month on a leaky air mattress. I was staying at the home of my ex-fiancé’s Facebook friend, in Iowa. She’d generously welcomed me after my ex kicked me out of our shared Tennessee apartment.

I was three months pregnant and battling suicidal ideation every day. When my fiancé told me to go back to Minnesota and began spending all of his time trolling online for dates, my prenatal depression kicked into high gear. I was pregnant, recently dumped, filled with guilt, and terrified of being a bad mother. I was…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store