Add ‘Passwords’ to Your 2020 Thanksgiving Dinner Topics


With Thanksgiving approaching, there’s a good chance you’re agonizing over what dinner topics to avoid so your holiday meal isn’t ruined. You’ve endured too much in 2020 to let a debate with your uncle ruin dinner.

Rather than stoke conflict at the dinner table, let’s inspire family togetherness by discussing a safe topic: passwords.

You read that correctly. This Thanksgiving, talk to your family about passwords. The world is united in an unbending dislike of passwords, so jointly denigrating them is a reliable way to promote a sense of community even among distant relatives.

Here are some conversation starters:

  • Ask your family members how many passwords they have and how much they enjoy being told to reset their passwords.
  • Challenge everyone to come up with a strong password, then check how long it would take to crack. The winner gets to take home leftovers.
  • Help your loved ones organize a walkout at their company in protest of the new 16-character complex password policy. Continue this until the company agrees to eliminate passwords.
  • Debate your father on the societal norms of making passwords “long and complicated” and how this archaic practice has influenced our perception of what a password is supposed to look like.
  • Encourage your parents to start Facebook rants with strangers about how awful passwords are.
  • Start a conspiracy theory about how passwords are actually usernames. Create a 2-hour youtube video explaining this and have everyone share it aggressively on social media.
  • Give your dinner guests advice on how to avoid reusing passwords by leveraging a password generator. Remind them to never write them down, because the safest password is the kind you cant even remember.
  • Collect everyone’s phone and change their unlock passcodes to !Ra*NiM/QtG__3zcFfmuKCU%fj97ztH8Da
  • Develop a roundtable discussion on the embarrassing yet natural inclination as humans to reuse passwords across services.
  • Argue with your aunt about government overreach and how the PSD2 regulations enforcing strong customer authentication are clearly an attack on your personal right to use weak passwords.
  • Force your dad to read a white paper on passwordless security, then quiz him about the nuances of standards-based authentication and Public-Key Encryption.
  • Argue with your niece and nephew about how much simpler passwords were “back in my day” – even though they’re only slightly younger than you.

There you have it. A Thanksgiving dinner everyone will remember. And in between bites of beans, greens, potatoes and tomatoes – make sure you remind people that passwordless authentication is finally happening.

Unlike topics that alienate people, a rigid contempt for passwords is the underlying truth that binds people together even when they don’t agree on other matters. This is without doubt and without exception, since across the known universe, people from all walks of life can unite in their contempt for the password.

So this year, let the venom about password flow like so much turkey gravy. Your guests will thank us for the suggestion, and perhaps an unyielding hostility towards, say, hardware security tokens will make New Year’s Eve all the more memorable.