DISCOVER: SQUARE MARKET

I’ve developed a Mindy Kaling-like insecurity about modern technology. If you were like me and born in the early Eighties you were know as Generation Y–a shallow, more manic off-shoot of Gen X. We quoted Clueless, wore ‘Free Winona’ t-shirts ironically, and peeled the foil off of gum wrappers and used it the decorate our TI-82s. It was a simpler time. Then the word ‘millennial’ started being thrown around and suddenly we were known not for our pop culture reappropriations but for helicopter parenting and technological multitasking. Tom Brokaw became less interested in our VHS copies of Reality Bites or our obsession with Sublime and more intrigued by things like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and a slew of other social media platforms we had now been subsumed in.

Except for me. Born in 1983, I was too young to claim I listened to Run DMC but too old to say things like, “OH EM GEE DID YOU SEE WHAT HE POSTED ON HIS NEWS FEED WTF???” Just the other day a friend of mine had to clarify what it means to tag someone in your Instagram versus what it means to mention them in the comments. They–allegedly–are different things though I still haven’t wrapped my head around it, and If that isn’t a clear enough sign of a generational gap then you must be Michael Douglas on his wedding night.

This is really just a long-winded way of explaining where my well of deep-seated self-doubt comes from, specifically when I hear about new things on the Internet, and how it is entirely possible that I only figured out what Spotify was five months ago.

Which leads me to the actual point of this post: Square Market. Square Market is like Etsy but a little sexier, a little smaller and way hipper. Unlike Etsy, or even eBay, Square Market is a place for small business owners to develop and expand their brands–you won’t find someone selling incomplete dinning sets or rusty egg baskets here. Not that I don’t love sifting through the odds and ends of Etsy, but sometimes you want to browse through a collection of goods that has been more thoughtfully curated, one that doesn’t allow a guy in Iowa selling plastic beads by the cubic yard to dominate 7 pages of your search history. And that’s exactly was this place is. They also encourage buying locally and make it super simple to find artisans in your city, town and neighborhood. The other day I found the perfect kilim pillow from a textile importer in Brooklyn. (Side note: go check out the very handsome and bespectacled Christian Rathbone)

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 12.45.12 AMSo am I late to the game on this, guys, or am I discovering it right at the time when 24 year-olds will be turning it into a hashtag and poking each other about it on The Facebook? (That, by the way, is the zeitgeist sweet spot, my kittens–when something is both trending and on the cusp of becoming totally irrelevant.) Or do I really care? Now that I know the difference between tagging someone and mentioning them in the caption on Instagram, I really feel invincible, like I could lift a mid-sized sedan if a small baby was crushed underneath. Or at the very least a Fiat. Either way knowledge is power and I am like the NSA now so watch out Snapchat.

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