DiscoverWhy'd You Push That Button?
Why'd You Push That Button?

Why'd You Push That Button?

Author: The Verge

Subscribed: 6,709Played: 57,971


Why’d you like that celebrity photo on Instagram? Why’d you leave that restaurant review on Yelp? Why’d you text in lowercase, or turn on read receipts, or share your location? The Verge’s Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany ask the hard, weird, and occasionally dumb questions about how your tiny tech decisions impact your social life.

49 Episodes
I have sad news today: we’re publishing the season 4 finale of Why’d You Push That Button? The good news, though, is that it’s a really great episode! Today, Kaitlyn Tiffany and I (Ashley Carman) are asking what verification on social media accounts really means. To some, it represents more than a badge of authenticity. We wonder why people want to be verified and what they’re willing to do to get the blue checkmark.  I tell the story of my own journey to Instagram verification (weird flex, I know) and ask my friend Michelle what she thinks about me now that I have a checkmark. Afterward, we interview Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson about verification’s origins, and then we chat with two guests who differ on the importance of verification. We talk with a content creator named Mark, who once tried to pay someone to get his Instagram account verified, and artist Joseph Grazi about his Culture Cures project and why he’s slapping anti-influencer stickers onto New York City subway train cars and platforms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Instagram introduced its Close Friends feature, the ability for users to assign followers to a Close Friends list and only post Stories for them, nearly a year ago. At the time, it seemed like an official product response to the user behavior of Finstagrams, or accounts that people created solely to post less-curated, raw material to a select group of friends. On this week’s episode of Why’d You Push That Button?, Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Carman want to know how Close Friends is going. Who’s using it? Why are they using it? Is the Finsta in trouble? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the social media world, Instagram has dominated as the most used app in 2019, but what happened to Snapchat? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany dive into where Snapchat is after Instagram stole their innovative "story" feature, and what the people who still use it are using it for.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In 2019, what's really going down in people's Instagram and Twitter direct messages? How has the behavior and usage changed over the past few years? Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Carman interview people who found love in the DMs and others who didn't. Later, the director of product management at Instagram reveals why people use DMs, and how Instagram makes it easier for users to slide into them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Do you use Gmail's "smart reply" feature when answering e-mails? Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany explore the world of the automated email responses and how it makes us feel as both the sender and the recipient.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the third and final episode of the Death Online series, Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany analyze why people flock to Twitter after a celebrity dies. Guests include a reporter who is all too familiar with the phenomenon, a writer who fears the day his favorite celebrity passes, a musician we force to think about her own death, and a sociologist who contextualizes "celebrity death Twitter" in the broader history of public mourning.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What happens when your robot friend dies? Ashley Carman explores the grieving community surrounding the short-lived social robot Jibo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What’s going to happen to all of your tweets, Instagram photos, and emails when you die? To kick off a special three-part miniseries about Death Online, Ashley and Kaitlyn are in search of the perfect digital afterlife — and the skills they’ll need to clean up after themselves from beyond the grave. In this episode, they talk to an estate planner, a Tumblr star, an advice columnist, and a Why’d You Push That Button? listener who has no interest in being a Facebook ghost. Long story short: if you want to RIP, you have to plan ahead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
People are becoming more conscious of their phone and app usage to a point that tech companies, including Google and Apple, are building software to deter them from scrolling through apps like Instagram and Twitter.  On this episode, Kaitlyn deactivates her Instagram account to try and feel happier. Does it actually work? She and Ashley talk to users who have taken breaks from Instagram, a professor who studied social media abstinence, and Google to learn more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Anonymous accounts can be essential for creatives on the internet and also a tool for others to detach themselves from their work. This week, The Verge’s Ashley Carman and Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany talk to users who feel the need to keep their personal life out of their Instagram accounts; a reporter who was the victim of an anonymous Twitter parody account; and a media researcher who studies the reasons people want to be anonymous. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Promoting a tweet has been a tool for brands, influencers, and entrepreneurs to spread their message, but why do regular users promote their tweets? Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox talk to Twitter users, an engagement editor, and an expert on personal branding to find answers. Kaitlyn also sacrifices her vanity and promotes her own tweet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Do you scoff at people who appear in iMessage as a green bubble? Or are you the person with the green bubble that has been unaware of your friends secretly judging you? In the season premiere, Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox talk to experts and users about how Apple's design and color choice in iMessage can cause rifts in relationships. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A new season of Why’d You Push That Button? is coming May 15th! Ashley Carman of The Verge and Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Goods by Vox will explore more of the tiny decisions that technology forces us to make, like why iPhone users judge people with green bubbles in iMessage; why people use anonymous online accounts; and why anyone would promote a tweet. Also, in a special three-part series, Ashley and Kaitlyn will explore the choices we have to make when it comes to death and the internet. Subscribe to get new episodes every Wednesday! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany travel to Las Vegas for CES 2019 and chat about what it means to have smart speakers in our homes and as part of our families. Do we need to be kind to them? Director of Product Management for the Google Assistant Lillian Rincon and Editor of Bret Kinsella join Ashley and Kaitlyn to give their expert takes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It’s the season finale of Why’d You Push That Button, and this week, hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany discuss exclusive dating apps. Unlike Tinder, Facebook Dating, Hinge, or most other dating apps, these exclusive versions require users to apply and then only approve a select group. The most popular exclusive dating apps include Raya and The League. For this episode, Ashley and Kaitlyn want to know why people spend time applying to these services, and why these apps were created. To find out, Ashley talks to her internet pal Lina about her experiences on Raya. Then Kaitlyn talks to her friend Paul about his Raya rejection and eventual success on The League. Finally, the two of them come back together to interview The League’s founder and CEO Amanda Bradford about why she made the app and why she thinks it’s essential. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
My Instagram followers want to know whether I like veggie chips and how many push-ups I can do in a row. The answer is no and one. On this week’s Why’d You Push That Button,’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and I (Ashley Carman) discuss anonymous question-and-answer apps — why do people use them, both to ask and receive questions? First, I chat with my pal Vanessa about how they use Instagram’s question and answer feature to build community. Then, Kaitlyn chats with a minor Tumblr celebrity, Klaudia, about how she handles questions she’s asked and how she guides the youth of today through their lives. And finally, I interview Janis Grivins, the COO of, about why people ask anonymous questions and what purpose a masked identity can serve. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Verge’s Why’d You Push That Button squad is in the holiday spirit, so in this week’s episode, hosts Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany discuss hashtag holidays. You might not know the term, but you definitely know the phenomenon. Maybe you’ve seen people participate in #NationalSiblingsDay, or #WorldNutellaDay, or maybe even #NationalBoyfriendDay. Why do people post, and why do they use those hashtags? Also, who invents these holidays? Kaitlyn and Ashley chat with one of their producers, Bridget Armstrong, and her family to get their take on hashtag holidays and their Facebook posts about them. Then they talk with Lizz Kannenberg, the director of brand strategy at Sprout Social, about brands’ role in these holidays. Copywriters are infusing holidays into our lexicon with no one to stop them! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The people who love voice messages love voice messages.’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge’s Ashley Carman aren’t those people. On this week’s Why’d You Push That Button, they discuss voice messages and why people send them. They also try to figure out why people like them in the first place. Ashley talks to her best friend, Casey, about her habit of sending voice messages, and Kaitlyn interviews The Verge’s very own AI reporter James Vincent and his mom, Bridget, about their family texting dynamics. It’s heartwarming. Then, Ashley and Kaitlyn take all that they’ve learned to Djamel Agaoua, the CEO of messaging app Viber, to learn more about why people use voice messages and how they’ve become more popular around the world. Agaoua posits a few theories on why they’ve bloomed in popularity and previews how voice messages will evolve in the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
How do you choose which emoji skin tone to use? This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman discuss the five emoji skin tones (not counting the default gold option) and how people decide which color best represents them. The tones debuted in 2015, and now, three years later, people have studied how they’re used and how commonly people opt to change the default option. The choice isn’t as simple as you might think. We also change the show up this week. Instead of relying on just two users, we wanted to hear about as many experiences with the emoji as possible, so we have lots of guests. Thank you to all of them for coming on the show, including Ben, J., Jordan, Joshua, Rosie, Soco, and Malachi. We also received lots of emails when looking for guests, so thank you for writing to us. After we hear from everyone, we chat with two expert guests. The first, whose interview is transcribed below, is Alexander Robertson. He’s a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh who published a study — called “Self-representation on Twitter using emoji skin color modifiers” — about skin tone emoji and their usage across Twitter and around the world. Then we chat with Zara Rahman, a linguist and writer, who published a piece called, “The problem with emoji skin tones that no one talks about.” She walks us through her story and how her interviewees felt about the tones. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What makes you post a photo to Instagram? What space is truly worthy of a post? Are we willing to destroy nature for a good pic? This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and The Verge's Ashley Carman discuss the characteristics that create an Instagram-worthy place. First things first, we talk to former social media manager at The Verge, Zainab Hasnain, about all of the Instagram-oriented pop-ups she’s visited. We also chat with Kristina Alaneisse about parties she hosts at local cool-kid spot China Chalet. Then, as a special treat to wrap up our Instagram mini-series, we have two expert guests. The first is Eliza Brooke, a freelance writer who has incredible design sensibilities. The second is Piera Gelardi, executive creative director and co-founder of Refinery29, about the media company’s 29Rooms exhibition where visitors can play in 29 different rooms and snap some photos while they’re at it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (22)

Srishti Bose

This is a very well made podcast - discussion of the personal experience, the cultural reality, legal dispositions and psychological explanations. Perfect.

Nov 2nd

Seif El Ahouel

wow, life is hard in the US, there are plenty of cross-platform apps to use with all the features you'd want, but noooo "The Apple Ecosystem" is the place to be

Aug 20th

Pedro Abreu

ill never even subscribe in the first place, fucking normies :)

Aug 4th

Daniel B

Please stop your guests from using 'like' 3 times per sentence... guests that also call themselves writers, it's fairly embarrassing.

Jul 14th

Boris Yoffe

I totally can't get it! To buy $1000 phone because of messaging! Some people are crazy) Previously I thought that it's a joke about green and blue bubbles) and after all... there are a lot of messaging-apps which are pretty much better than iMessage.

Jul 10th

Linda Viola Li

Like the premise of the show. But please stop saying "like" so much!

Jul 9th


Really relatable episode. appreciated all the content in different perspectives. during the episode I deleted Instagram from my phone. I've kept it on my tablet for now. my tablet though I don't use everyday so hopefully this will help me start to ease off of Instagram.

Jun 14th

Pod Dammit

"If you're not visually appealing, I don't know if you can be elitist." first of all, no one should be elitist. Secondly, that's a very shallow opinion. There's much more to people than appearance. Just saying. You both seem very stuck up and rude.

Jun 14th
Reply (5)


That story shared in the begining! OMG! peak of the emo moment of this podcast.

Jun 5th


Let's be real, this is mostly a thing among overprivileged assholes. The rest of the world doesn't care.

Jun 4th


What I learned from this is that relationships exist only to have something to post pictures about and to signal to others on social media. Do the two people involved even have to interact with each other, other than to provide subjects for social media posts. This podcast is the hour of my life I most regret losing.

Oct 29th

Eli Czaplinski

I just discovered this show and I love it! Is there going to be a season 3?

Aug 23rd
Reply (1)

Muthuvignesh Meenakshisundaram

LOVE IT!!! Keep up the awesome work guys. I'm a teen, any interviews coming my way I'd be happy to do!

Mar 7th

Aoife O Sullivan

great podcast girls, helping with my thesis research on social media impact on adolescents and the use of art therapy as an intervention 😃

Feb 1st

Ishan M

Some great points discussed here. Very interesting.

Jan 2nd

Adam Burke

well produced, fun and informative podcast. Great job guys

Oct 30th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store