Welcome to Home Screen: a newsletter about daily life on the internet during a pandemic.
My name is T.C. Sottek, and I’ll be the host of this weekly experiment. I’m a game developer, writer, and the executive editor at The Verge
. If you’re not familiar with any of that stuff, you may know me as the creator of Is It Canceled Yet?
, a website that tracked a bunch of the major social gatherings that have been canceled during the rapid outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
I launched the website a few weeks ago thinking it would be a small distraction to punctuate my day… but it exploded. I never promised a comprehensive resource, but people flooded my inbox with requests to add all of the events they care about to the website, however small. They also asked to add new features and to make it all more efficient. A million-plus pageviews and hundreds of messages from readers later, I learned how deeply and broadly people were feeling the impact of social interaction being taken away from them.
Now, cities are getting shut down completely, and lots of people are losing their jobs. There’s a lot of confusion and fear. I’ll still update Is It Canceled Yet? occasionally, but as many of us become isolated at home to prevent the spread of disease, there’s much more to say. So, for now, and perhaps until our species is in the clear of this latest disaster, I’m going to deliver this newsletter to you a few days a week with a mix of essays, essential news, internet curiosities, and things to do online – something nice to fill your home screen, while you’re stuck at home.
We’re in this together. And while the internet hasn’t been perfect lately, it still keeps us connected, even when we’re apart.