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    Krystal D'Costa Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow on Twitter @krystaldcosta.
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  • Is there more to locking up than personal safety?

    Photo by John Finn | CC, Click on image for license and information.

    Do you lock the door to your home when you’re inside during the day? Or do you leave the door open if you are just running out for a minute? Some people, even in unforgiving New York City, do not. They are called the No Lock People. But if we’re all locking our doors then [...]

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    Then and Now: April Fools’ Day—How did we get here?

    Photo by Will Montague. CC, click on image for license and information.

    Where is here exactly? Here is a tired, eye-roll inducing pseudo-holiday that we endure with a grimace every year. Hopefully you have room for one more article about April Fools’ Day. Maybe you spent the day avoiding the Internet as much as possible—clicking around as carefully as you could and refraining from commenting where possible [...]

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    Can anthropology defeat self-deception to build better apps?

    7 Krystal D Costa  Liar  liar pants on fire    YouTube

    Last September, I participated in the relaunch of Ignite NYC. These mini-presentations test your game by only allowing you five minutes and 20 slides to share your idea with the audience. It’s intense. And having survived two of them now, I feel like I’ve survived some sort of public speaking boot-camp. The talk was based [...]

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    Is email one of the last private spaces online?

    Photo by Dennis Skley; CC, click on image for license and information.

    Someone has been using my email address. First, she registered it as the recovery address for another account she created, so I was notified about that account. Then she used my email address to register for FIOS (an Internet, cable, and telephone service provider), sign-up and make purchases on Groupon (which she then cancelled), and [...]

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    It’s True: We’re Probably All a Little Irish—Especially in the Caribbean

    A bed of clover | Photo by Adam Selwood. CC. Click on image for license and information.

    In the United States, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. This Irish national holiday celebrates Saint Patrick who is—potentially—the most recognizable of Irish saints, known for championing Irish Christianity (and using a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity). The observance of St. Patrick’s Day has also been viewed as a one day break from the abstinence of [...]

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    How many TV sets do you have—and why does it matter?

    Photo by SteveStein1982. CC. Click on image for license and information

    In the early nineties, researchers predicted that at the current rate of growth, there would be two televisions per US household by 1995. It’s probably safe to say that we have likely exceeded that prediction. While our smart phones, tablets, and laptops may have a prominent place in our lives, they haven’t quite replaced our [...]

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    Is there joy in missing out?

    Photo by Kate Ter Har. Click on image for license and information.

    Researchers talk about our attachment to social media in terms of the fear of missing out (FOMO). We can’t look away from our mobile devices because we might miss the possibility to make or enhance a connection. After all, one of the benefits to having a large social network is the access to social support. [...]

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    Whose time are we celebrating for the New Year?

    Photo by Nick, CC. Click on image for license and information.

    Note: A version of this post appeared on Anthropology in Practice in 2010. It’s New Year’s Eve in the United States, and in New York City tourists and residents are getting ready for the countdown in Times Square that marks the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. This widely televised [...]

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    Our public affair with food porn

    Image by Phil Thomas, CC. Click on image for license and information.

    Do you ever feel like your social feed is overrun by pictures of food? A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project from October 2013 found that more than half of all Internet users have posted original photos or videos to a website. Thanks to the portability of cell phone cameras and the [...]

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    The Obligation of Gifts

    Photo by KDCosta, 2013.

    For those of you with Christmas trees, they probably look a little barren following the unwrapping of presents. What did you get for Christmas? And what did you give in return? Gift giving is a large part of the holiday season, but for many the exchange of presents can be a stressful exercise. Some people [...]

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