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What's next for Techno Sapiens
The big day has arrived! I’m excited to announce that, starting today, Techno Sapiens will offer paid subscriptions—and for the next 48 hours only, they’ll be 20% off. Going forward, the majority of Techno Sapiens content will stay free. But paying subscribers will get some bonus perks, like access to research roundups, Q&As, and an extra Monday post each month. Read on for more details (or, if you’d like, skip all that and upgrade to a paid subscription right here).
Thanks for your support, techno sapiens!
In the first few months after my son was born, I spent a lot of time wondering what it was, exactly, I was supposed to be doing. I mean, I was doing plenty of things. Feeding, changing diapers, blotting stain remover on crusty spit up patches, crying over tiny pairs of outgrown newborn pants. I was certainly busy, but what was I doing? Or, maybe more accurately, who was I being? Who was this person I was turning into?
In my day-to-day, I was, suddenly, no longer a psychologist or researcher. I was no longer a person who goes running and grabs dinner with a friend and laughs about hypothetical fights with duck-sized horses. I was spending the day consumed with parenting, but was I a parent? I remember going to one of those moms’ groups and looking around, seeing all these leggings and athleisure sweaters and Warby Parker glasses and thinking these people don’t look like parents! They look like me! But of course, they were. We were.
With a new identity under construction, I did what I often do in times of existential crisis: I started reading. Books, research studies, articles, Google searches, Instagram captions—I read every piece of parenting content I could get my hands on, looking for shreds of my own experience, trying to make sense of it all.
But I couldn’t quite find what I was looking for.
On the one hand, there was the scientific stuff I encounter everyday at work. Research articles with correlation coefficients and stale academic jargon. Dry, kind of boring, and lacking a certain, shall we say, humanness.
On the other hand, there was the…less scientific stuff. News headlines announcing a “new study” proving TikTok liquefies teenage brains. Instagram momfluencers sharing their views on the dangers of screen time, and have you tried instead creating a simple sensory bin filled with sourdough starter and toxin-free crayons molded from leftover candles?More human, yes, but seemingly without any basis in evidence, or, you know, reality.
Not to mention, it was all so focused on…parenting. It was as if the Internet had sensed my transition to a capital-p Parent, and flushed out everything else. Any prior interests, knowledge, or—maybe most importantly—sense of humor, seemed to have given way to a soul-crushing eternity of consuming 10 tips for better baby sleep.
It was in the midst of this searching that I started Techno Sapiens. And over time, though not always consciously, I’ve tried to make it into that thing I was searching for. A newsletter about parenting, but so much else, too: the latest psychology research, strategies for improving our mental health and relationships with technology, the classic 1996 film Space Jam, towels that look like lobsters, that time a preschooler told me I smell like cashews (for the record, I do not)…. A newsletter that is science-based but human. Informative but realistic. Rigorous, without taking itself too seriously.
Before having my son, I’d read—on the Internet somewhere—that becoming a parent changes you. I expected it to make my world smaller, more defined. I’d be a parent, period. Instead, I’ve found, it’s made my world bigger. I’ve become more myself, more whole, embracing parts of myself I’d ignored or forgotten. Techno Sapiens has helped me start to make sense of it all. And I hope, in some small way, it’s helped other parents do the same.
Over the past year and a half, Techno Sapiens has grown into a bigger part of my life than I ever could have imagined. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m so grateful for all of your support and encouragement along the way.
Now, I’m asking for your help. I want to continue investing in Techno Sapiens, to make it better for you, and to reach more parents (and non-parents) with information that’s science-based, but human. Paid subscriptions will make that possible.
If you’re the kind of person who believes research should be accessible, and that parents deserve a space that’s evidence-based and judgment-free, please consider a paid subscription.
Alright, how’s this gonna work?
First things first: the vast majority of Techno Sapiens content will remain free.
At the end of the day, a paid subscription is about showing your support for the newsletter and what we’re building here. Think of it like a donation to support work you value—like a PBS (or Patreon) model. It will help me continue investing in the newsletter, reach more people, and keep most content free to the public.
But I’m also excited to add new bonus content and perks, which will only be available to paying subscribers. So, here’s how it will work:
Posts will continue to go out every Monday. Each month, one of these Monday posts will be paywalled. The rest will stay free.
Paying subscribers will also get access to a few bonus posts each month. These will include: research roundups (short, digestible summaries of the latest research on technology, psychology, and parenting); Q&A’s (answering your questions); stories from my own life (particularly ones I might feel uncomfy sharing with, you know, the whole Internet); and more.
Free subscribers get:
3 Monday posts per month
Paid subscribers get:
All Monday posts
Bonus research roundups, Q&As, and other perks
Knowledge that you’re supporting a newsletter that’s trying to make our lives a little bit better every week
Paid subscriptions will be $99 per year (which works out to $8.25 per month). But for the next 48 hours, subscriptions will be 20% off. So, if you buy a paid subscription in the next 48 hours, you’ll get a year of Techno Sapiens for $79 ($6.58 per month).
To put this in context, one everything bagel with butter and a large iced coffee from White Electric is $7.28.For less than the price of one (delicious) breakfast, you could be a Techno Sapiens supporter!
Note: if a paid subscription is not financially feasible for you at the moment but you’d still like to access bonus content, email me for a comp subscription.
There will also be an option to join as a “Founding Member” for those who are extra excited about Techno Sapiens and want to contribute more. Founding Members will get all the paid subscriber perks, plus the knowledge that you belong to an ~*exclusive*~ group of very generous sapiens.
And now for some FAQs
Can I gift a subscription to someone else?
Of course! Techno Sapiens subscriptions make a great gift for all kinds of people in your life: the research-loving parent-to-be, the parent who can’t stop singing Miss Rachel songs, the parent whose teen just got a phone, the friend who majored in psychology and won’t stop talking about it, the co-worker who just quit Instagram and won’t stop talking about it…gift away!
Can I get a group subscription?
You can! Group subscriptions are available at a 40% discount (per person). A great option for schools, parenting groups, companies, academic departments, therapy practices, families, and any other group of interested sapiens.
Do my spouse and I count as a “group”?
You do! If you and your significant other would both like a paid subscription—or, if you’d like to be extra generous and gift them a subscription—select the “group” option for 2 people. Both of your subscriptions will be 40% off ($59 per year). True love!
Are there any other reasons I should subscribe?
Okay, fine. I’ll share a few other reasons. But only because you asked.
Techno Sapiens subscribers are an incredible community of smart, talented, and fun (!) parents and non-parents, representing dozens of academic institutions, U.S. and international government agencies, large tech companies, and full-time parents.
Techno Sapiens has been recommended by some people whose work I admire, including:
Julie Jargon of the Wall Street Journal
Jessica Grose of the New York Times
Emily Oster of ParentData
Melinda Wenner-Moyer of Is My Kid the Asshole?
Kevin Maguire of The New Fatherhood
Caroline Chambers of What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking
Cara Goodwin of Parenting Translator
My parents. They are big fans.
What else can I do to support Techno Sapiens?
In addition to a paid subscription, you can support Techno Sapiens by sharing it with people you know (and, if you’d like, people you don’t know). This will help us continue to grow and reach more people.
Thanks for your support
I love writing Techno Sapiens, and I’m so grateful to you all for welcoming me into your inbox each week. Here’s to doing our best to find the balance of the scientific and the personal, the research and the real-life. To digging into the technology and the ways it’s changing our lives, and to finding the humanness, and humor, in it all.
A few more urgent observations related to this photo: (1) Those overalls, which involved four separate, minuscule buttons and straps whose configuration my sleep-deprived brain absolutely could not fathom, were perhaps the most nonsensical outfit I put on my son in those early days. Would I do it again? Absolutely. (2) His little bald head! (3) Yes, that is, in fact, a book in the background titled DeFi and the Future of Finance. I’m told there are people out there (i.e., my husband) who read books like this for fun? (4) The haphazard placement of that burp cloth is, maybe, part of the reason I was spending so much time blotting stain remover on crusty spit up patches.
I should note that I’ve since discovered some incredible parenting content, which I consume religiously, including the many talented newsletter-writers mentioned above. How did parents ever make decisions before reading Emily Oster’s Cribsheet? Did babies ever sleep before Taking Cara Babies existed? I’ll never know.
Nothing against sensory bins. It’s just that, if I were going to describe a children’s activity as “simple,” it maybe would not involve thousands of tiny grains of rice? You know what, not to worry, though. Upon Googling, I was reassured by some sensory-bin-enthusiasts that the “mess is minimal!” and that, should spills occur, one can simply provide one’s toddler with a “small dustpan and broom” to clean it up (which has the added benefit of promoting “fine motor work"). This is why I don’t trust the Internet.
Doing this math has had the unintended consequence of making me think I should spend more money on reading material, and less money on coffee and bagels. Huge bummer, to be honest.
Speaking of White Electric coffee and bagels, a new contender for favorite everything bagel: @PopupBagels. Currently available in New York City and multiple Connecticut locations (note that this endorsement is, unfortunately, not sponsored). Thanks also to the fellow bagel-enthusiast sapiens who have written in with suggestions. These include: Fire Dog Breads in Keene, NH (specifically the “Jerusalem bagel”); Tandem Bagels in the Pioneer Valley, MA (“especially the wild cheddar”), and Rebelle Artisan Bagels in Providence, RI (can attest these are good, although the everything includes caraway seeds, which is, honestly, upsetting).