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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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PopSockets: A Secret Weapon For The Disabled

PopSockets: A Secret Weapon For The Disabled

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I have the body of someone much older. I have to go to the rheumatologist every month and each time I'm the youngest person in the waiting room by at least 40 years. And yet, I'm among my peers. Among the many issues with my ol' bod are hypermobile joints and connective tissue disease. I'll save you a whole spiel about what that means, but the gist is that my joints can get very swollen and achy - sometimes from seemingly doing nothing. For example, I have tennis elbow in both my elbows - which I got while sleeping. The combo of sleeping in a bad position + bad joints and BOOM! Incredibly painful elbows. The latest craze in My Body Turning Against Itself is increasingly painful/obnoxious hand and wrist issues. The joints in my hands and fingers get swollen and sometimes the pain is to bad my hands are practically useless. It got to the point where holding and using my phone was a daily pain trigger. Can you imagine not being able to constantly be on your phone?! Forget unbearable pain, THAT is hell.

This is where a trendy little contraption comes to the rescue. PopSockets are, I believe, meant to be for the selfie-takers of the world, not the disabled. But, like many products and innovations, both the abled and disabled can benefit. PopSockets are sticky little discs that you put on the back of your phone that you can pop out to make a sort of hand hold. This makes it easier to hold your phone in all manner of ways, thereby making taking that perfect selfie a snap (pun intended, obvs). It also makes holding your phone easier if you, say, can't bend your fingers. When the little disc is pressed in, it's very low profile. You can still slip your phone in your pocket fairly easily (although I'd recommend sliding it with the PopSocket facing towards you lest it get caught on your pocket - a lesson I have learned through many, many errors).

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When you need to use the PopSocket to hold your phone it pops out very easily, and has two levels of, er, popped-outedness. It's easy enough to do with one hand, and I find myself sometimes absentmindedly fiddling with it when I'm bored. Despite constantly popping this thing back and forth, it seems to be built to last through all kinds of wear and tear.

The PopSocket can also be used as a stand for your phone, so if you're one to watch videos or just like to have your playlist visible at all times, this can come in handy. I've found that I like to keep the PopSocket pulled out and then set my phone down so it's sort of sitting on a pedestal. Then it's much easier for me to grab from a flat surface. Again, you have to remember that I'm dealing with swollen fingers that sometimes don't want to bend properly. Imagine picking up a flat phone from a flat countertop while dealing with fingers that won't cooperate. Keeping your phone on its own little stand is a pretty ingenious disability adaptation, if I do say so myself.

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Whether you're interested in being able to take selfies with greater ease or you have limited mobility, I think PopSockets are a fantastic addition to anyone's phone case. They're $10 each and come in just about any pattern imaginable. You can even get premium designs for $15 (I was very tempted by the giant rhinestone ones). Considering how much I reach for my phone throughout the day, this is the best, most useful $10 I've spent in a long time.

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