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Online and Out of the Car in LA

November 2012

By Wendy Dembo, Los Angeles

Getting out and about isn’t easy in LA. So it’s interesting to have seen how the use of technology has changed over the past three years, persuading Angelenos to get out of their cars.

Instagram is increasingly a go-to app for creative professionals. It is much cooler than Facebook and nicer to use, with no political rants or cat videos. Two years ago, it was all about Angry Birds. But now it is all about Instagram, which allows users to post images to friends, or the public. It allows friends to see where you are, or what you are doing. This voluntary feature fuels my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and often inspires me to battle LA traffic to go out. Instagram appeals, because it offers a visual narrative that is highly curated, as well as a means for users to communicate what they feel is interesting, beautiful, funny or quotidian, without words. 

The American Medical Association (AMA) suggests that everyone should walk 10,000 steps a day. When I lived in NYC, I used to walk all the time, everywhere. After I moved to LA, I thought that I was walking a lot; however, when I got my FitbitI saw that I sadly wasn’t. In LA, people drive everywhere-- even to exercise. So now I make a point of walking. In the last year, I have become totally obsessive about getting my 10,000 steps in a day. Luckily for Angelenos, the technology in the past two years makes pedometers both accurate and easy to use. 

Three years ago, my friends and I had never heard of a flash marketing site or sale. Did they even exist? But then we quickly discovered a bunch of sites-- Groupon, Amazon Local and Living Social-- when we wanted to try out new exercises and restaurants. Haute Look, Rue La La and Ideeli were our go-to sites for clothing. I bought my first deal for ten Pilates classes in February of 2010, which soon gave rise to a yoga-and-Pilates frenzy. A friend bought discounts at diners at odd restaurants galore. It was great that our savings got us together to dine and exercise, but we bought too many so-called deals in the end. I couldn’t remember what I had and when they expired. In the last two years, I think twice before I buy anything, except for That site is a still a problem.

Retail & Dining
Los Angeles

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