Here at Mozilla, we’re the first to admit that the Internet isn’t perfect, but we’re also quick to point out that the Internet is freaking magical. The internet opens doors and opportunities, allows people to connect with each other, and allows everyone to find their own corner of the internet where they belong. We all have an internet story worth sharing. In My corner of the Internetwe talk to people about the online spaces they can’t get enough of, what we should save in Pocket to read later, and what sites and forums have shaped them.
This month we chat with Mi-Anne Chan, founder of mixed feelings, an advice newsletter covering existential questions from relationships and work to how style, home and culture contribute to identity. We talk to her about our emotions on the internet, early years beauty YouTube pages, and where digital media is going.
What’s your favorite corner of the internet?
I hate plugging shamelessly mixed feelings in the first question but, I mean it when I say my favorite corner of the internet is our Discord channel. I startedmixed feelings, a newsletter with an advice column, featuring our Artistic Director Logan Tsugita, Brand Director Lloyd DSouza, Assistant Director Amalie MacGowan and a bunch of incredible creatives last year. 110% of our content is about existentialism (and a brief reprieve in the form of highly personal and editorial shopping recommendations about why everyone should be talking during movies).
So naturally we made a Discord where our team is just under a hundred [mixed feeling-]ers download all of our weird thoughts, memes, pet pics, and armchair reviews of the latest episode of Succession and the best and worst dressed at the Met Gala.
It’s all fun and memes and nonsense, but every now and then the channel will light up with really sweet and helpful conversations on topics like What questions should I ask a potential manager in a job interview? I get a little positive activation jolt every time I see a notification coming. I love it so much.
What is a deep dive into the internet that you can’t wait to go back to?
I love world building and complicated story so I spend a lot of time reading Fandom.com. I’ve read the Fandom pages for just about anything Shadow and Bone, Wheel Of Time, you call it mostly at night to calm me down before going to sleep. I recently fell asleep reading the Attack On Titan page about the biological difference between titans and pure titans and breaking the nen power system in Hunter x Hunter.
What is the one tab you always regret closing?
These Nikes I’ve been considering for months but still haven’t convinced myself to buy (I can’t decide between all black or blue!). The cycle goes: open the link in my browser, ask my friends if I should buy them, wait a few weeks, close the tab, reopen it a few days later.
What can’t you stop talking about on the internet right now?
I like discuss. And lately I’ve been trying to find whoever who will talk to me about the future of media. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I find it extremely inspiring to discuss the intersection of digital media, industry and culture. I love Decoder, a podcast hosted by The Verge Editor-in-Chief, Nilay Patel. He’s an incredible interviewer and while some episodes are a little too much into the technology of baseball for me (I care about the chip shortage but not that much!) I think Nilay does an incredible job of illuminating the cultural impact of baseball. technology and media about your everyday Internet user. This one, which uses Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour as a means to discuss the music industry, royalties, and songwriter credits as a whole, is particularly interesting. Nilay is a former copyright and trademark attorney, so he really gets into the nitty-gritty details.
I’m also reading the new book Traffic by former Buzzfeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith, which charts the rise and fall of Buzzfeed and Gawker as an allegory for the cultural impact of media then and now. It’s personal reading for me as I was getting into the digital media landscape at this time and I know it all too well the excitement and pain of chasing page views and uniques of my time in Refinery29. That said, while I’m not done with the book, I can already tell that it would be an interesting read for anyone interested in the media/information ecosystem and how these giant corporations were created.
What was the first online community you interacted with?
I was a beauty editor in a past life, and everything I learned in my nascent pre-editor days came from YouTubers like Ingrid Nilsen (then Miss Glamorazzi), Michelle Phan, and the like. I remember interviewing for my first editorial internship at W Magazine nearly a decade ago and spotting the Clarisonic Mia in the background of their beauty editors’ Skype screen. I had no interest in knowing anything about this facial tool because frankly I couldn’t afford such a thing, but I did because I had heard about it from so many YouTubers earlier that year. I’m convinced it helped me get the job, which ultimately led to me getting my first real media job two years later!
I’m shutting myself out of drama these days, so I’m not so sure what the YouTube beauty landscape will look like in 2023, but 2010-2014 was a magical time of 17-minute makeup tutorials filmed on your creator’s bathroom floor favorite. It was special.
What articles and videos are in your pocket waiting to be read/watched right now?
The case against the trauma conspiracy, The New Yorker; I’ve started it a hundred times and I have to finish it. I don’t know why I keep putting it down, this topic is inherently interesting!!!
Almost There by Jean Garnett, The Yale Review; I always saved it in my pocket to read again. It’s a personal essay on the complicated nature of twinning, but I think it applies to anyone who has had or currently has a best friend. Put into words that shameful feeling of wanting, in need being a part of something but also resenting that you are.
If you could create your own corner of the internet, what would it look like?
Honestly, I think we were already in the process of creating my ideal internet corner on mixed feelings, which I am so honored to be able to do. We talk endlessly about our feelings on our platforms, but something I’d like to explore more is conversations about fandom as it relates to community building and identity. I was the president of the Harry Potter Club in high school (lol), which ended up just morphing into the Fandom Club, so I’d like to explore fandom nuancedly down the line.
your site, mixed feelings, has written some wonderful writings on mental health and healing. What other corners of the internet do you think are having healthy and happy conversations about mental health?
I love Dr. Marisa Franco’s Instagram page. She is a psychologist and the author of Platonic, a book about making friends as an adult (she is also a mixed feelings writer!). Dr. Franco’s specialty is in friendships, so she constantly abandons the truths about things like how your attachment style might impact you as a friend or how to set boundaries while preserving friendships. She recently did an acquisition for us where she answered tons of questions like turning an acquaintance into a close friend and more!
Mi-Anne Chan is a writer, editor and creative director based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently Senior Director of Programming and Creative Development at Cond Nast Entertainmentwhere he oversees the video and audio editorial portfolio for Teen Vogue, They. AND LOVE. You can follow her on Instagram here AND subscribe to mixed feelings on Sottopista.
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