Why the book phone challenge is the social media craze of the summer.

Dunking on strangers is great.  Standing like a mannequin is fine too. But if you want to make a splash on the internet this week, you better pick up a book.

The #bookphonechallenge encourages users to pick up their latest reads and hold them to their ear like a phone. It's similar to photos you may have seen of rappers, entertainers, and the suddenly cash-rich holding stacks of money to their ears like phones — only this time, it's for people who love to read.

The #bookphonechallenge started with Lord Jamar, a hip-hop artist from the group Brand Nubian.

In his first post, he wrote, "On my phone, knowledge is calling." Soon after, he made a funny video using his books as a make-believe phone. The challenge was born.

Y'all wanna make the BOOK PHONE a CHALLENGE???...Then make it happen!!! #bookphonechallenge

A post shared by Lord Jamar Allah (@lordjamar) on

Since #bookphonechallenge began July 29, more than 9,000 posts have used the hashtag.

The challenge has spread quickly on social media, particularly among black users. It's the perfect combination of hip-hop culture, continuous learning, and great photos. Since reading is perfect for all age and stages, everyone can participate!

From sweet babies starting on the right track...

...to older kids finding their favorites and exploring the world around them.

Grown folks are in on it too. Sharing what they're reading for business or pleasure...

#bookphonechallenge part 1

A post shared by Ben-G From The LPC (@bengfromthelpc) on

...as well as the books that inspired and challenged them.

As an adult, reading isn't always carefree or fun.

(Finals are no joke.)

But when it comes to learning new things or exploring new places, a good book is the only thing you need.

Music just keeps on calling me! And I'm always shocked at what it's saying. Lol #bookphonechallenge #HBCU #SCSU #HBCUGrad

A post shared by Neko Da Roll-N-Stone ™ (@nekodrns) on

(Well, most of the time.)

Yes I wanted in on the #BookPhoneChallenge too! 📚 #MoveWithMelo

A post shared by Melo (@movewithmelo) on

Take part in the #bookphonechallenge or just take a minute to recommend a good read to a friend.

Because unlike the running man or ice bucket challenge, reading will never go out of style.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less